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Ukrainian Air Force explains why Russia has recently lost 11 aircraft

Ukrainian Air Force explains why Russia has recently lost 11 aircraft Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Massive downing of Russian aircraft in February 2024 is reported as a response from Ukrainian defense forces to the escalation of enemy aviation presence in eastern Ukraine, citing a statement from Colonel Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for the Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

"The enemy has increased aviation presence on the eastern front. Accordingly, there was a response from higher military leadership. And the Air Force is doing what you see. They (Russian aircraft) are being shot down from quite a distance, let's not specify the exact range," he revealed.

In Ihnat's words, "Russian pilots are no longer so impudent, they aren't flying as close."

"For them to drop bombs further, they need to fly closer, because the bomb glides, it doesn't have its own engine, it glides and loses speed. So they (Russian pilots) need to take risks to strike from a distance, and by taking risks they end up in situations like today's (downing of Su-34)," he added.

Moreover, according to Ihnat, Ukraine is acquiring more means to engage the enemy in distant approaches, which he deems "very important."

Destruction of Russia aircraft

On February 29, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed a Russian Su-34 fighter jet. It became the eleventh aircraft lost by the occupiers since February 17. On that day, the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed three Russian aircraft - two Su-34 fighter-bombers and one Su-35 fighter - which were also shot down on the eastern front.

On February 27 and 26, two more Su-34s were downed. Besides, on February 23, sources from RBC-Ukraine in the Armed Forces reported that a Russian A-50 aircraft was shot down over the Sea of Azov. This is the second A-50 destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces since the beginning of the war.