In the morning of May 13, the regional channels of the Bryansk region reported the crash of a Mi-8 helicopter, as well as a Su-34 fighter. Judging by the videos that are circulating on the Internet, the helicopter was shot down with a rocket.
Later, the fall of the second helicopter was confirmed , and information appeared in the channels of the "military correspondents" regarding the crash of another aircraft, which could be the Su-35. Some time later, Kommersant confirmed the crash of two Mi-8 helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces, as well as Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft. Their crews are reported to have died.
The Governor of the Bryansk region Alexander Bogomaz acknowledged the fall of only one helicopter.
This event gave rise to speculation as to how the combat vehicles could have been shot down.
In an interview with The Insider, a retired colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, military expert Roman Svitan suggested that most likely the Ukrainian side used the AIM-120D air-to-air missile, which was launched from a MiG-29 fighter and guided by the NASAMS air defense system.
According to him, the plane is used here to accelerate the missile, which increases its flight range to 150 km, while the radar on the ground gives target designations. Similar missiles can also be launched using NASAMS ground launchers, but in this case, their flight range is up to 40 km.
At the same time, Svitan does not exclude that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could quietly pull up the S-300 air defense systems to the border and shoot down planes and helicopters with their help. A variant of a sabotage group on Russian territory using Igla or Stinger MANPADS is also possible.
Retired aviation colonel Viktor Alksnis believes that the use of Western air-to-air missiles requires appropriate radio detection and guidance aircraft, and they can only be located over the territories of Romania or Poland. Therefore, Alksnis is inclined to think that Russian planes and helicopters were shot down by the Ukrainian side with the help of S-300 air defense systems, which were brought to the Russian-Ukrainian border.