Russia may have lost five fighter jets in Ukraine in two days

The Ukrainian Air Force could have shot down four Russian Su-34 and one Su-30 fighter-bombers dropping aerial bombs on Ukrainian army positions in just two days.

On December 22, Armed Forces Commander Mykola Oleshchuk reported three downed Su-34s in the southern direction, and on December 24, according to a Ukrainian military summary, another Su-34 and Su-30 were shot down over the Donetsk region and the Black Sea.

After the largest loss in such a short time since the war began, Russian air forces have suspended flights in the war zone. “We are seeing a lull in the use of guided aerial bombs. <…> What we see so far is that they are in substantial and deep thoughtfulness. They are really studying what it was and how much further it is dangerous”, said Natalia Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces.

According to her, the weather had previously prevented the Russian army from using such a method of air pressure, but they decided to take advantage of the opened “weather window” and “make up” for the lost time. Thus, three fighter jets were shot down on December 22 during an attempt to hit the Ukrainian army’s bridgehead in Krynky on the left bank of the Dnipro with aerial bombs. “They took an unsuccessful risk. We hope the occupiers will take more such risks”? said Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman Yurii Ignat.

According to him, 500-kilogram KABs can fly 20-25 kilometers, but sometimes Russian pilots have “hands itching to strike” and fly closer. He recalled that before that they had shot down airplanes near Snake Island and over the Bryansk region in exactly the same way. “They were taught nothing by Bryansk and Odessa, where both Su-24 and Su-35 were also intercepted”, Ignat concluded.

It was possible to destroy the planes thanks to the Patriot air defense system, which is capable of working on aerodynamic targets at a range of 160 kilometers, says Ukrainian aviation expert Valerii Romanenko. “We received another complex from Germany, and our guys were already prepared for it”, Romanenko explained.

In total, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 35 Su-34s were shot down during the war. The latest machines could be from a new batch that entered Russian service in November, said Ivan Stupak, a military expert and former employee of the Ukrainian Security Service.

In his opinion, the downed fighters affect the “psychological ability” of Russian pilots to carry out combat missions, as well as the positions of the Ukrainian military, which will no longer “be bombarded by these big bombs”.

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