A Ukraine Air Force Su-27 fighter assigned to 831 Tactical Air Brigade jet was shot down over Kyiv. The pilot was killed.
A number of unverified videos and images have appeared on social media sites as a result of the tense situation in Ukraine.
A video is widely circulated on social media with claims that the Ukrainian air defenses shot down a Russian aircraft over Kyiv’s residential areas. Several videos and images have been shared on social media platforms without verification. False claims have been added to some of them, creating panic.
CNN has confirmed, however, that the video was actually that of a Ukrainian SU-27 that was shot down by Russia’s anti-air battery in the suburbs, rather than a Russian jet shot down. In an interview with CNN, a senior correspondent said the jet that was shot down was a Ukrainian SU-27.
The wreckage of the jet fell on the two-story residential building and it caught fire.
The loss of a Su-27 comes follows the flight of another fighter of the same class to Romania on the same day, with Ukrainian air defence sites and aircraft being made priority targets by Russian units and widely speculated to have declining morale.
The Su-27s in the Ukrainian Air Force date back to the 1980s, and have seen few improvements made to their performances since with their sensors, missiles and electronic warfare countermeasures in particular seen to be far out of date compared to frontline Russian fighters such as the Su-30SM and Su-35.
The Su-27 previously only saw air to air combat in East Africa in 1998, and it remains uncertain whether they have been involved in any air to air engagements since Russia began its campaign in Ukraine on February 24.
Clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces could see the fighters in their first and perhaps their last ever air to air engagements should they go head to head with Russian fighters, although the technological gap between them of approximately 30 years means the results of such engagements are expected to be overwhelmingly one-sided.
The small number of fighters Ukraine has operational means that Su-27s may be relegated to patrolling over the capital and the country’s western regions rather than contesting Russian air superiority in the country’s eastern and central regions.