Ukraine downs 10 Russian jets out of the sky in 10 days


Ukraine’s military has announced that it has shot down 10 Russian military jets in the past 10 days, a dramatic rise from the previous months.

The statement comes in spite of the shortages faced by Ukrainian forces due to delays in Western supplies.

Ukraine claims that it has destroyed a total of 342 Russian planes and 325 helicopters since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

These numbers cannot be confirmed independently. Russia remains silent.

“Another one! In addition to the one in the morning!” Ukraine’s General Staff posted on Facebook on the afternoon of 27 February.

“Oops, we did it again!” the Ukrainian defence ministry joked on X (formerly known as Twitter). “And now it’s 10 ruined Russian planes in 10 days!”

Ukrainian Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk says that the latest two Russian aircraft to be shot down are Su-34 bombers – both downed in the east of the country.

“Considering such losses of fighter and special aircraft, the Russians should think twice and stop their aviation meat grinders for a while,” he said.

Gen Oleshchuk was referring to a Russian military strategy that involves sending large numbers of troops into combat with no care for their lives.

Ukraine says that it has shot down some of the best aircraft that the Russian air force has to offer between 17 and 27 February.

They include a highly advanced and rare A-50 military spy plane. If true, this would be the second A-50 to be shot down in just over a month, a humiliating loss for Russia and a major victory for Ukraine.

The other Russian planes that Ukraine says it has shot down in that period are seven Su-34s and two S-35 fighter jets.

One weapon that Ukraine is likely to have used is the US-supplied Patriot surface-to-air missile.

The higher number of Russian planes that Ukraine says it has shot down recently suggests that “Ukraine is being more aggressive with risking Patriot launchers close to the frontlines in order to engage Russian jets,” Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow at the London-based think-tank Rusi, told the BBC.

The recent surge has several possible reasons, such as increased deployment of such aircraft by Russia and more effective air defence systems used by Ukraine.

But without precise information on resources deployed on the battlefield, it can be hard to fully explain the increase in Ukrainian claims.

Such an increase, however, is still noteworthy.


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