Ukraine airforce says downed two Russian command aircraft

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Ukraine said on Monday it had downed two Russian military command aircraft over the Azov Sea, saying it had carried out a “successful” mission against Moscow’s forces.

The Azov Sea lies between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow controls its entire coast after seizing large swathes of southeastern Ukraine during its invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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“Minus an enemy long-range radar detection aircraft, A-50, and the aerial command center Il-22!” the airforce said.

“The special operation in the Azov region was successful,” it said on social media.

Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Valery Zaluzhny, said Kyiv had “destroyed” the planes.

“I am grateful to the Air Force for the excellently planned and conducted operation in Azov region!” he said on Telegram.

Moscow did not comment on the claims.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he had “no information” about the incident and said further questions should be directed to the defense ministry.

The war in Ukraine, which has dragged on for nearly two years, has seen an escalation in attacks in recent weeks.

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