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Russian Il-22 barely reaches Anapa, but restoration possibility excluded, Ukrainian Air Force says

Russian Il-22 barely reaches Anapa, but restoration possibility excluded, Ukrainian Air Force says Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The Russian aircraft Il-22, which was shot down by the Ukrainian military on January 14 over the Azov Sea, could have reached the airfield. However, it is not subject to restoration, states the spokesperson for the Air Force, Yurii Ihnat.

According to Ihnat, the Il-22 pilots could still have brought the plane to the airport in the Russian city of Anapa and made an emergency landing.

"It seems the Il-22 did reach Anapa. Tenacious creature. But, as you can see, the clunker is not subject to restoration. So, no matter how you turn it, the target is destroyed, and resuscitation won't help. The plane was on fire, some of the crew are wounded, and hopefully, it's around 200 people," he has written under the photo.

He also states that the priority during the operation was still the A-50 reconnaissance aircraft.

"The long-range radar detection aircraft A-50 was and remains a priority target for us. Until today, destroying this aircraft seemed like an impossible task for the Air Force. And here, the Il-22 (airborne command post) got caught up in the mix," he notes.

Destruction of Russian A-50 and Il-22 aircraft

According to sources in the Defense Forces on January 14, RBC-Ukraine reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian A-50 aircraft over the Azov Sea and damaged an IL-22.

On January 15, the Commander of the Air Force, Mykola Oleshchuk, hinted at the destruction of Russian aircraft, calling this operation revenge against the occupiers for the missile strike on the Dnipro on January 14, 2023. A little later, the destruction of two aircraft was officially confirmed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

It is worth noting that Russia may have nine A-50 units, but not all of them are operational. Details on why the destruction of A-50 is significant and what makes this operation unique can be found in the material.