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Russian air strikes and bombing reduced after downing Su-34

Russian air strikes and bombing reduced after downing Su-34 The U.S. Patriot air defense system weakened the aggressive behavior of Russians (photo: Getty Images)

The invading forces are reducing air activity and the use of aerial bombs after the Ukrainian Defense Forces shot down several Russian Su-34 fighters in southern Ukraine, reports the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Institute cites a statement by Ukrainian Air Force representative Yurii Ihnat, who said on December 24 that Russian troops had reduced the use of glider bombs and air strikes in the south of the country. Ukrainian military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets reported that Russian troops are also limiting the use of manned aircraft near the temporarily occupied Crimea, particularly in the northwestern Black Sea region.

According to the ISW's preliminary assessment, Russian forces have recently intensified the use of glider bombs against Ukrainian forces on the western (right) bank of the Dnipro River due to Ukrainian forces' suppression of Russian long-range artillery in the area.

The report notes that a further reduction in the number of Russian glider bomb strikes in Kherson region could allow Ukrainian forces to operate more freely in the near rear areas on the western bank of the Dnipro, as well as to take a safer position on the left bank from which to conduct future operations, if such a decision is made by the military command.

"Russian forces are using glider bomb strikes to keep Russian aircraft 50-70 kilometers behind the line of battle, and the reduced use of Russian glider bombs indicates that Russian forces are concerned about the capabilities of Ukrainian air defense after recent losses," the ISW report said.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Fitio, a spokesperson for the Ground Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that Russian troops have reduced the use of aircraft and increased the use of attack drones in the Kupiansk and Bakhmut directions.

Downing of Russian Su-34 fighters

On Friday, December 22, the Ukrainian military shot down three Russian Su-34 aircraft in the southern direction. This is how the defenders responded to the aggressor's nighttime drone attack the day before.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces command hinted that the fighters could have been hit by the American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system.

On Sunday, December 24, Ukrainian air defense forces shot down another Russian Su-34 bomber in the Mariupol sector.

Ihnat noted that Su-34s have not been included in Russia's loss statistics for a long time. According to him, it is one of the newest aircraft in service with the Russian army, costing up to $50 million.