The defenders of Ukraine just uncovered a surprising, dirty secret of the Air Force of the Russian invaders.
These invaders have been mauling their country at the orders of Moscow dictator Vladimir Putin for three months now.
The secret was exposed after Ukrainian troops used a US-made Stinger missile to shoot down a top-notch Russian fighter jet, only to discover it was piloted by an overaged man.
The man turned out to be a retired general from Putin’s Air Force who hadn’t seen flying in at least a decade.
Surprising Find in Downed Expensive Russian Fighter Jet
The Ukrainian military was stunned when it established the high-profile Russian pilot downed by its troops is no other than Major General Kanamat Botashev.
He is a 63-year-old man who retired from the Russian military back in 2012.
Botashev’s death is remarkable because it is seen as unequivocal evidence that the Russian Air Force is running out of trained pilots for its war of aggression against Ukraine.
The Putin regime seems to be forcing elderly grandpas out of retirement and tossing them immediately into battle to try to overwhelm valiant, courageous Ukrainian defenders.
The conclusion in question is certainly not implausible, considering that a total of 206 Russian warplanes of mostly fighter jets have already been shot down by Ukrainians.
Their pilots either died in the downing or have ejected and have been captured. Those in the latter category are now awaiting war crime trials, and/or POW exchanges with the Russians.
According to 🇷🇺 and Western sources, 🇺🇦 has shot down a 🇷🇺Su-25 near Popasna, Luhansk oblast. Major general (r) Kanamat Botashev, 63, KIA. Possibly the oldest fighter pilot killed in action ever. pic.twitter.com/m2HxGNY5Ty
— Eerik N Kross (@EerikNKross) May 24, 2022
CONFIRMED: In Ukraine, #Russia has lost its highest-ranking pilot yet. Major General Kanamat Botashev was pulled out of retirement, only to be shut down over #Ukraine. Multiple sources including confirmation by the @BBC. pic.twitter.com/jdcGQWB0PJ
— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) May 24, 2022
The BBC confirmed Ukraine's claim that retired Russian Major General Kanamat Botashev was shot down, possibly by a Stinger MANPADS, in a Su-25 aircraft near Popasna on Sunday and killed. It appears he was flying for Wagner.https://t.co/JRS3Shcp68 pic.twitter.com/mBvtnpuzcK
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 24, 2022
Retired Russian Major General Kanamat Botashev has been shot down and killed in skies above Ukraine – BBC
3 former subordinates confirmed info. Botashev is highest-ranking 🇷🇺 pilot killed in 🇺🇦, indicating either lack of pilots or difficulty of tasks https://t.co/NeqTIHEyZA pic.twitter.com/YSuobpdgVj
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) May 24, 2022
Putin’s Regime Propositioned Old Man to Kill Ukrainians
Botashev was shot down in the Luhansk region of the Donbass in Southeast Ukraine by a Stinger-wielding Ukrainian soldier. This happened at 8:25 am on May 22, according to a report by the Russian-language service of the BBC.
He was piloting a Su-25 attack fighter jet worth an estimated $11.3 million. The elderly military vet perished as he was unable to eject for some reason.
Botashev’s death was confirmed before the BBC by one of his former colleagues who claimed the retired Russian Air Force general “simply couldn’t stay away” from the war in Ukraine after he was “offered the chance to fly.”
According to Ukrainian analysts, the old man was actually propositioned by the Putin regime to take part in the war of aggression against the Ukrainians.
While the vicious, lying propaganda of the Putin regime claimed both the Ukrainian Air Force and the Ukrainian anti-aircraft artillery have been destroyed, the false allegation in question remains very far from the truth.
So much so that the Russians have not only been unable to dominate the skies in Ukraine, but they have actually started to dread sending their aircraft there for fear of losing them.
According to some Ukrainian estimates, Russia already lost about half of its operational aircraft. Ukraine’s government admits the situation there is extremely difficult.
Botashev was a former regimental commander but was forced to retire after he decided to take a Su-27 fighter for a joyride and crashed it while performing acrobatics. 2/
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 24, 2022
It is unclear how Kanamat Botashev, a retired commander, ended up flying a fighter jet on the frontlines. https://t.co/i4XsbwBAnj
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) May 25, 2022
Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, was pulling out of an attack run when he was hit by an anti-aircraft missile fired by Ukrainian paratroopers.
He had no time to eject and was killed instantly in the explosion
— The Times (@thetimes) May 25, 2022
2013 yılında Rus Hava Kuvvetleri'nden emekli olan ancak savaş nedeniyle orduya dönen Tümgeneral Kanamat Botashev, Luhansk bölgesinde kullandığı SU-25 Savaş Uçağı'nın düşürülmesi sonucu yaşamını yitirdi. pic.twitter.com/CtLy8PJfrr
— Stratejik Ortak (@stratejik_ortak) May 24, 2022
These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of May 25, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/p0FcKbNNk0
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 25, 2022