Sukhoi Su-34 jet fighter takes off during the international air show MAKS-2007 in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Aug. 23, 2007. REUTERS


  • A Ukrainian anti-aircraft battery downed a Russian plane by just using radar
  • The pilot of the aircraft was probably so stunned that they ejected from their plane
  • Around 50 Russian planes were lost in the invasion of Ukraine

A Ukrainian anti-aircraft battery was able to down a Russian plane without firing a missile, according to the unit's commander.

Yaroslav Melnyk revealed the encounter involving his Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile battery in an interview with ArmyInform, a media agency under the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

"We found the target, we turned on the backlight radar. At this time, radar exposure warning signals sounded in the [Russian pilot's] cabin. He realized that he had turned from being a hunter to being a target," Melnyk said, according to a machine translation of his interview.

The signals probably stunned the pilot of the Russian aircraft so much that they immediately ejected, resulting in their plane crashing, he claimed.

Melnyk has reportedly destroyed 28 targets throughout Russia's invasion, including 11 various types of combat aircraft, two helicopters, two cruise missiles and 13 unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs.

He is a recipient of his country's highest national title, the "Hero of Ukraine," which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presented during the celebration of the Day of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Under Ukrainian law, the title can only be granted to civilians who received the Order of the State or to members of the military given the Order of the Gold Star for "a remarkable heroic act or remarkable labor achievement."

Russia has lost 236 aircraft and 206 helicopters, among other pieces of military equipment, between the start of the war on Feb. 24 and Monday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed in its most recent casualty report.

Oryx, an open-source analytical initiative that tracks military equipment losses, was able to visually confirm the destruction of 50 Russian aircraft and 48 helicopters in the ongoing conflict.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has lost 40 aircraft and 11 helicopters, according to the project.

Russia's Air Force, formally known as the Russian Aerospace Forces, operated more than 2,850 active combat aircraft and helicopters as of 2021, an analysis created with the help of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer said.

In contrast, the Ukrainian Air Force had around 113 active combat aircraft and helicopters at the time.

A Ukrainian service member holds a Javelin missile system at a position on the front line in the north Kyiv region, Ukraine March 13, 2022.
A Ukrainian service member holds a Javelin missile system at a position on the front line in the north Kyiv region, Ukraine March 13, 2022. Reuters / GLEB GARANICH