Reports: Retired Russian general shot down

According to media reports, a general of the Russian Air Force has been killed in Ukraine. His plane is said to have been hit by a missile. Apparently, he had long since retired.

A Russian Air Force general has been shot down and killed in eastern Ukraine, according to a BBC report. The plane of Major General Kanamat Botashov had already been hit by a stinger missile over the small town of Popasna in the Donbass on Sunday, the British broadcaster reported on Tuesday in its Russian-language service on Tuesday. Botashov would be the highest-ranking Russian Air Force officer killed since the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Ukrainian media reported the shooting down of a Russian Su-25 fighter jet on Sunday. As the BBC now reports, citing several sources, Botashov was sitting in the cockpit. Officially, the death of the pilot has not been confirmed. According to Ukrainian sources, he would be the ninth Russian general killed in the war.

Discharged from the army

The officer, who came from the Caucasus, was considered an excellent aviator. However, the 63-year-old was released from the army in 2013 after the crash with an Su-27 in the reserve. As it turned out, he had flown the fighter jet without the necessary approval. At that time, Botashov was able to save himself by ejection seat.

It is not clear how the general came to be deployed in Ukraine. However, according to media reports, a covert mobilization of retired military personnel has been going on in Russia for months. So far, at least nine Russian reserve officers, who were more than 50 years old, are said to have died during the war in Ukraine.