Unit: Wagner PMC
His rank is still being clarified, but very likely a Lt. Col. given his position as a deputy regiment commander. This message will be removed when his rank is confirmed.
Cargo ID: #562
Full Name: Alexander Sergeyevich Antonov
Russian Name: Антонов Александр Сергеевич
It became known about the crash of the Russian SU-24 near Kleshcheevka (Bakhmut direction). It was confirmed from the field that it was a Wagner PMC aircraft. The dead were commander Alexander Antonov and the navigator Vladimir Nikishin.
On December 2 (2022) while the crew was performing a combat mission in the area of Kleshcheevka, the ground situation began to change abruptly. The enemy attempted an armored breakthrough, which posed a serious threat of losing the positions occupied by the Wagner forces. Having evaluated the situation, the commander of one of the attack squads redirected the Su-24M crew towards the enemy's armored column. The attack required the pilots to fly several kilometers beyond the line of contact with the enemy. Fully aware of all the risks involved, the crew decided to continue flying the mission and destroy the newly identified target.
While turning on the combat course, the aircraft was hit by a MANPAD. The observation post of one of the attack squadrons reported to the commander that they could see the plane exploding in mid-air and descending into the area of the enemy convoy. From the burning Su-24M the phrase "Meet the Pope, bitches..." (Встречайте, суки, Папу…) sounded on the radio and in 5-7 seconds the plane crashed into a cluster of AFU armored vehicles. As a result of the heroic actions of the crew, the enemy's armored breakthrough did not succeed, and the positions of the forward assault groups were saved.