Ukraine says it destroyed 2 Russian command planes, which would be a costly blow for Putin's air force

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Russian A-50 Plane


“Both types are only operational in small numbers and are critical to command and control of Russian air operations and ground-based air defense coordination,” said Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow specializing in air power and technology at the Royal United Services Institute, a British military think tank. “Replacing any lost mission crews would likely be almost as problematic as replacing the aircraft themselves, since Russia has major training pipeline challenges as a result of the sustained intensity of combat operations against Ukraine over the past 23 months.”