Ukraine claims to shoot down Russian bomber, though Moscow denies


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Ukraine has said it shot down a Russian bomber on Friday. 

However, Moscow officials said the plane crashed “in a deserted area” in Russia’s southern region of Stavropol following a malfunction.

Euronews cannot independently verify each side’s claim.  

Russia has recently gone on the offensive in south and eastern Ukraine, amid improved weather conditions and delays in western arms deliveries to Kyiv.

While Russia’s air force is vastly more powerful than Ukraine’s, sophisticated missile systems provided by Kyiv’s Western partners are a major threat to Russian aviation.

The Ukrainian report said the air force and military intelligence cooperated to bring down the Tu-22M3 bomber with anti-aircraft missiles. 

Russia commonly uses the bomber – which can also carry nuclear warheads – to fire Kh-22 cruise missiles at Ukrainian targets from inside its airspace.

Russian authorities say three crewmembers were rescued after ejecting from the aircraft, and the search for a fourth is taking place. 

Previous Ukrainian claims of shooting down Russian warplanes during their more than two-year war have met with silence or denials from Moscow.

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