"We believe he was shot down by a SAM [surface-to-air] missile," the
Russian source said.
The Moscow-based Interfax news agency confirmed the killing of the
Russian pilot in Omdurman. Interfax said the pilot, dismissed by the Russian
Air Force, served as a foreign adviser to the Sudanese Air Force.
Interfax did not identify the pilot. The news agency said the Russian
pilot was not connected to the Russian military mission in Sudan.
The Russian sources said Russian pilots have been flying the 14 MiG-29s
since their arrival in Khartoum around 2006. The sources said the MiG-29s
were used as part of the effort by the regime of President Omar Bashir to
quell the rebellion in Darfour.
Russian analysts have asserted that the fourth-generation Fulcrum was
equivalent to the U.S.-origin F-15 fighter. The MiG-29 has been equipped
with the advanced R-73 Archer and R-77 Adder air-to-air missiles.
The Sudanese military was said to receive most of its assistance from
China and former republics of the Soviet Union. The United States has
imposed a weapons embargo on Khartoum.
On Wednesday, U.S. envoy to Sudan, Richard Williamson, arrived in
Khartoum at the head of a State Department and CIA delegation. The
delegation was said to be discussing ways to remove obstacles toward full
U.S. diplomatic relations with Khartoum.