“Today, May 27, around 14.00 o’clock a MiG-29 fighter of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian fighter Su-35, which posed a threat to Ukrainian aircraft in the sky of Kherson region”. This is the very short text that has been released few hours ago on Telegram and other social networks by the Ukrainian Air Force.
No additional detail about the aerial engagement in the region just north of Crimea has been provided yet; nor have any images of clips showing the eventual wreckage of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) Su-35 Flanker-E have emerged on social media to verify the claims.
If confirmed, this would be the second Su-35S the Russians have lost in the air war over Ukraine: the first Su-35S Flanker-E crashed near Izium, in eastern Ukraine, some 120 kilometers to the southeast of Kharkiv, on April 3, 2022. According to the Ukrainian sources, that Su-35S was also shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses, although this couldn’t be verified. Back then, the remains of a Kh-31 anti-radiation missile (ARM) could also be IDed among the remains of the Flanker, suggesting the aircraft might have been tasked with a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) mission, to disable the enemy ground-based air defense systems radars.