Images Show Wrecked Russia Il-22 Command Plane Shot Down During Wagner Revolt

  • Shocking images and videos show a destroyed Russian Il-22 command plane. 
  • Wagner Group forces are said to have shot down the plane during their revolt, killing the crew.
  • Prigozhin said he regrets destroying Russian aircraft, but he argued they were attacking Wagner forces.

Shocking photos and videos show one of Russia’s Il-22M aircraft wrecked after it was shot down during Wagner’s armed uprising over the weekend. The Russian military has only a limited supply of these in its arsenal.

The Ilyushin Il-22M aircraft — a valuable airborne command post operated by Russia’s air force — was apparently shot down by Wagner Group forces during their revolt against Russian military leadership. 

One video of the crash site shared by an analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses shows smoking debris from the plane spewed across an open field. 

Wagner troops are believed to have shot the Il-22 down with a Pantsir-1 Air Defense System, a medium-range surface-to-air missile asset, according to OSINTdefender, an open-source intelligence monitor.

The “total inventory of IL-22/Il-22M/PPs in [the Russian] Aerospace Forces is 20. So this is not an insignificant loss,” Franz-Stefan Gady, a consulting senior fellow for cyber power and future conflict with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said, noting that the total number of “modernized Il-22M airbourne command post aircraft” in Russia’s fleet is just 12.

Videos show the moment the plane fell out of the sky and the aftermath of the crash. OSINTdefender reported that all 10 crewmembers onboard were apparently killed in the crash.

Along with the Il-22 aircraft, Wagner shot down six Russian helicopters, killing 13 pilots in total, according to Ukraine, as well as expert observers, like Michael Kofman, the director of Russia Studies at CNA.

In an 11-minute audio message posted on Telegram Monday, Prigozhin — whose uprising ended in a rocky truce agreement, said: “We regret that we had to hit air assets, but those assets were dropping bombs and launching missile strikes.” 

It’s unclear how many Wagner soldiers, if any, died in the purported strikes.

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