Wagner Group: Russia downed its own aircraft
May 17, 2023

The leader of the notorious Russian private military company, Wagner, insinuated on Sunday that four Russian military aircraft, which reportedly crashed near the Ukrainian border, may have been downed by Russia’s own forces.

The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin hinted at a possible covert operation orchestrated by Russia itself. While the exact reasons behind such an act remain unclear, he insinuated that it could have been part of a broader political strategy. This shocking claim has sent shockwaves through the international community, raising questions about the motivations and actions of the Russian government.

Reports in Russian conventional and social media indicated that two fighter planes, an Su-34 and an Su-35, as well as two military Mi-8 helicopters, crashed in the Bryansk region. According to unspecified sources from emergency services cited by state news agency Tass, the Su-34 and one helicopter were involved in the crashes. However, other sources, including Vladimir Rogov, the head of a Russian collaborationist organization in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia province, claimed that four aircraft went down, all belonging to the same military air group. Russian officials have not commented on these reports as of yet.

The incidents in the Bryansk region have raised concerns about Ukraine’s capability to strike Russia and the competence of the Russian military. The region has been subjected to cross-border shelling during the war, with authorities reporting unexplained explosions and an armed group infiltrating from Ukraine, resulting in civilian casualties.

Ukraine’s air force spokesperson, Yuriy Ihnat, denied any involvement in downing the aircraft, suggesting on Ukrainian television that Russia itself could be responsible. However, he later retracted his remark, stating it was intended as a joke.

The Russian government has vehemently denied any involvement in the downing of the aircraft, dismissing Petrov’s claims as baseless and unfounded. Russian officials have emphasized their commitment to the safety and well-being of their military personnel, emphasizing that they would not engage in such reckless actions.

The assertions by Wagner’s leader, alongside conflicting reports and statements, have added further complexity to the incident, leaving unanswered questions about the cause of the crashes and the responsibility behind them. This latest development only adds to the scrutiny and demands for a thorough investigation into the activities of the controversial private military company.

As the world awaits further evidence and clarification surrounding the downing of the military aircraft, the international community must remain vigilant and demand transparency from all parties involved. The implications of Petrov’s claims, if substantiated, could have far-reaching consequences not only for Russia but also for global security and the accountability of private military companies worldwide.

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