Russian military shot down its own planes in Georgian war

A new report from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technology says that half the Russian planes lost in last summer’s five-day war were shot down by friendly fire. The latest issue of the Moscow Defense Brief reports that Russia lost six jets in the war with Georgia, not four as officials claimed ...

583787_090709_Russia_Dmitry_Kostyukov_AFP_Getty_images25.jpg
583787_090709_Russia_Dmitry_Kostyukov_AFP_Getty_images25.jpg

A new report from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technology says that half the Russian planes lost in last summer’s five-day war were shot down by friendly fire. The latest issue of the Moscow Defense Brief reports that Russia lost six jets in the war with Georgia, not four as officials claimed at the time. At least three were downed by the Russians themselves. The article said:

Russian aircraft were frequently taken by Russian and Ossetian forces for Georgian aircraft, and they were fired upon without identification and in the absence of any aggressive action on their part.

The journal is highly critical of coordination within the Russian military, asserting that the army and the air force ran “completely separate campaigns.” It raises concerns as to Russia’s capabilities to win a war against a better-trained and better-equipped army in the future.

Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty images

Aditi Nangia is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

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