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British intel: Russia may have downed own Su-27 over Crimea in March

British intel: Russia may have downed own Su-27 over Crimea in March Photo: British intelligence does not rule out that the Russian Federation could have shot down its plane over Crimea (Getty Images)

Russia could have shot down its Su-27 over Crimea at the end of March. This incident confirms there's a lack of coordination between Russian forces, reports the Ministry of Defence of Britain on X.

The Crimean Telegram channel reported on March 28 that a Su-27 aircraft, operating over Crimea, was shot down by Russian air defense systems due to "friendly fire." Russia's appointed "governor" of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, claimed it was due to technical malfunction, and the pilot survived.

British intelligence notes that on March 24, Ukraine struck targets belonging to the Black Sea Fleet and in Sevastopol. This could have prompted the Russians to raise the readiness of their air defense systems.

Similar incidents of "friendly fire" have been reported before, especially in Ukrainian occupied territories. Intelligence suggests this further illustrates Ukraine's impact.

"There's a realistic possibility that rather than a technical issue, the increased pressure and tension amongst Russian air defense operators induced by the fear of further Ukrainian actions leads to them inadvertently engaging their own pilots and aircraft," the summary states.

Attack on Crimea on March 23

On the evening of March 23, explosions were heard in the temporarily occupied Crimea, particularly in Sevastopol.

There were reports online of air defense operations, and the occupiers blocked the Crimean Bridge. According to local residents, a fire broke out in Kozacha Bay in Sevastopol.

Later, it was revealed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had struck targets belonging to the Russian occupiers in Sevastopol. Russian landing ships and a communication center were destroyed.