Russian Air Force general was killed after his Su-25 fighter jet was ‘exploded in the sky with a US-made Stinger missile’
SOME OTHER Russian Air Force general was killed after his Su-25 fighter jet was shot down by Ukrainian forces with a Stinger missile.
The death of retired Russian Air Force Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, is believed to be the highest-ranking pilot with a known death since the fighting began on February 24.
Before Botashev retired, he was the commander of an aviation regiment.
Botashev’s death was confirmed to the BBC by three of his former subordinates, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
An announcement from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on May 22 said that a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft was shot down in the sky over the Luhansk region.
Along with a published image of the plane on fire, an adviser to the head of the Interior Ministry Anton Gerashchenko said: “In the distance, the remains of the Su-25 were shot down by soldiers of the The 3rd company of the 80th brigade in the Luhansk region was burning down an hour ago. ‘Stinger’ worked perfectly. “
The report added that the pilot did not have time to launch.
One of Botashev’s former colleagues confirmed to the BBC that in Ukraine the retired general performed missions on the Su-25.
According to the former colleague, discussions on one of the Russian telegram channels said: “Kanamat died today! Popasnaya District, 8:25 … NAR-s first call, second bomb two… Stinger at the exit from the attack, an explosion in the air and… That was it.”
NAR-s is an unguided aircraft missile.
The channel’s admin later deleted the comment, but other members of the group continued the discussion using the initials CHB.
“Farewell, commander… There are few people on this planet who have lived in the sky as much as you. The sky offers the best, today it has taken you,” said Fighterbomber, an authoritative telegram channel. authority in Russian military circles writes. pilot.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Botashev used to be a sniper pilot, training for 10-12 years, at a cost of about 8 million USD (£6.4 million).
It is not clear what the retired general is doing in Ukraine or how to fly the Su-25.
However, Russia started recruiting in early March.
The registration and enlistment offices of the Russian army, patriotic organizations and the PMC Wagner mercenary group actively campaigned to attract candidates to fight in Ukraine.
Born in 1959 in Karachay-Cherkessia, Botashev graduated from the Yeysk Higher Military Aviation Academy, qualified to become a fighter-bomber pilot.
However, reports say he was fired from the army in 2013 when he was accused of downing a Su-27 fighter jet near the city of Petrozavodsk, which he was not authorized to fly.
Thereafter, he served as vice-president for aviation of the Volunteer Association for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation and Navy in the Leningrad Region.
At least 31 Russian military pilots have been killed since Russian forces invaded the neighboring country, although the real number is likely higher.
Major General Vladimir Frolov, deputy commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army, is believed to be the eighth Russian general killed in battle.
The exact details of how and where he died have not been released.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lost another general in March, Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev, Commander of the 8th General Armed Corps, who was killed in battle at Chornobaivka, near the city of Kherson, in the south of the country. this.
It follows the deaths of Major General Andrei Kolesnikov of the 29th Armed Forces and Vitaly Gerasimov, who were killed in fighting outside Kharkiv.
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky is believed to have been shot dead by a sniper during a battle at Hostomel Airport about 30 kilometers outside Kyiv in early March.
And General Magomed Tushaev died when his Chechen task force, consisting of 56 tanks, was destroyed near Hostomel, northeast of the city.
Major General Oleg Mityaev, 47, died in Mariupol as well as Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev also died in the fighting.
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