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Russian Air Force suffers significant losses in Wagner mutiny

A screenshot from a video shared by the Wagner paramilitary group's social media accounts shows its convoy seemingly being hit with an airstrike. (Wagner/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) suffered significant losses during the seeming mutiny of the Wagner Group on 24 June.

Footage posted online during the event showed a number of fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft types of the VKS being shot down by Wagner forces during the mercenary group's short-lived insurrection against the Russian military and political leadership.

While not possible to verify, open source footage and images indicate that one Kamov Ka-52 ‘Havoc-B' attack helicopter, four Mil Mi-8 ‘Hip' transport helicopters, one Mil Mi-35 ‘Hind-E' assault helicopter, and one Ilyushin Il-22 ‘Coot' airborne command-and-control aircraft were downed during the event. Janes has been able to ascertain that these include an Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare platform, an Mi-35M, and an Il-22M11 airframe.

If correct, these aircraft losses would amount to about 29 VKS crew members killed (two for the Ka-52, three for each Mi-8 and the Mi-35, and 12 for the Il-22).

At the time of publication there had been no official pronouncements from the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation as to the scope and scale of the VKS losses during the nearly 24 hour rebellion by Wagner.

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