A blow to Moscow’s air power, according to commentators, has been dealt by the Ukraine military’s claim that it shot down a Russian military spy plane over the Sea of Azov.

The air force “destroyed” an Il-22 control center plane and an A-50 long range radar detection aircraft, according to Army Chief Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

The A-50 coordinates targets for Russian jets and finds air defenses.

In the southeast, Ukraine has had difficulty making major recent progress against Russian soldiers.

According to a report from the UK Ministry of Defence on February 23, Russia “likely” possessed six functioning A-50s. The construction of the aircraft may cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The attack has not been confirmed by the BBC.

Prominent Russian pundits who support war have stated that the loss of an A-50 would be noteworthy, despite Russian officials claiming to have “no information” about the assaults.

According to a well-known military channel, Rybar, it would be “another black day for the Russian air force” if the information coming from Ukraine regarding the Russian losses was verified.

A different broadcaster claimed that Russian “friendly fire” had struck the Il-22 command center. It apparently made it back to Russia.

According to Yuri Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, the Il-22 was irreparably destroyed.

Social media users shared a photograph of what appeared to be an Il-22 with obvious damage to its tail.

Independent analysis is challenging because the image lacks discernible details.

However, when BBC Verify checked the information with already-existing images from the area, it was discovered that the blue building in the backdrop was the same as the airport at Anapa, a town on the Black Sea coast of the region, and that the fire engine in the picture was identical to the kinds of vehicles employed in the Krasnodar region.

Mr. Ihnat did state that “the priority target for us” was the A-50 surveillance plane.

The air force of Ukraine “excellently planned and conducted” an operation in the southeast portion of the country known as the Azov region, according to General Zaluzhnyi on Telegram.

The opposition group BYPOL in Belarus stated in February of last year that they had destroyed an A-50 military aircraft in a drone strike close to Minsk.

According to Justin Bronk, an air battle specialist at the defense think tank Rusi, the loss of an A-50 would be a “highly operationally significant and embarrassing loss” for Russia’s air force if verified, he told the BBC.

His description of the A-50 as a “key command, control and surveillance platform” was that it gives “long range early warning and target information about Ukrainian low-flying aircraft” to Russian aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems.

He continued by saying that the Russian air force operated “only a small number” of these aircraft and “even fewer trained mission crews, meaning that the loss of one would be a major blow”.

According to him, if verified, the Ukrainian Patriot air defense missiles would be put through “a very long-range engagement” that would push “the theoretical capabilities of the weapon to their limit.”

The apparent change is a “small bit of good news for Ukraine amid an awful lot of bad news,” according to BBC security journalist Frank Gardner.

According to him, things are “not looking good for Ukraine” in general due to ammo shortages, low soldier morale, and ongoing Russian attacks on its infrastructure.