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UK intelligence explained the value of the Il-22M shot down by Wagner

Jun 29, 2023

Russia used Il-22M aircraft to control its invasion forces in Ukraine. The loss of one of them will affect Russian air and ground operations.

This was reported by the UK Ministry of Defense on Twitter.


As noted in the report, on June 24, Russian military helicopters and an Il-22M aircraft were reportedly shot down by Wagner Group air defense forces. The Il-22M is part of a relatively small fleet of up to 12 aircraft that are actively used for both air traffic control and radio relay tasks.

According to British intelligence, These special mission aircraft have played a key role in orchestrating Russian forces in their war against Ukraine. As high value assets they have operated within the safety of Russian airspace, far beyond the range of Ukrainian air defence systems.

The loss of this aircraft is likely to affect Russian air and ground operations.

"In the short term the psychological shock of losing a large number of aircrew in this manner will almost certainly damage morale within the Russian Aerospace Force. In the longer term, there is a possibility that current tasking levels may have to be reduced to safely manage the remaining fleet. This will likely undermine Russia's ability to command and coordinate its forces, particularly during periods of high tempo operations," the British Ministry of Defense said.

As a reminder, during the June 24 mutiny, Yevhen Prigozhin's Wagner forces shot down several Russian military helicopters and airplanes. According to Russian media, more than 20 pilots on board of the downed planes and helicopters were killed.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 29/06/2023

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