Russia shot down most of its planes lost in conflict

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BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia 'shot down its own planes'

Russia 'shot down its own planes'

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Moscow

A report in a Russian military journal claims that half the planes Russia lost in its war with Georgia last year were shot down by friendly fire.

The article in the Moscow Defence Brief magazine also claims that Russia lost more military aircraft than it is admitting to.

The report is highly critical of Russian forces during the brief war.

Russian air force officials have always claimed that four planes were lost during the five-day war last August.

But this new report says the actual number is six, and that half of them were shot down by their own side.

The report was written by the respected Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategy and Technology (Cast).

Cast gives detailed information about each of the losses, including times, locations and the names of the pilots.

'No co-operation'

It is also highly critical of the Russian military.

It says there was a total absence of co-operation between the Russian army and the Russian air force, which led them to conduct completely separate campaigns.

Russian forces easily overwhelmed Georgian troops during the brief war.

But the losses sustained by the Russian side in just five days have led analysts here to question how Russian troops would fare against a bigger, better-equipped and better-trained enemy.
 

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