Ukraine’s Military Claims Responsibility for Downing 14 Russian Fighter Jets in the Span of Two Weeks

According to the Ukrainian air force, they have successfully shot down 14 Russian jets in the span of just two weeks. This has resulted in heavy losses for Ukraine’s aerial fleet, all while Russia’s ground forces advance further into the war-torn country.

The Ukrainian air force reported on Saturday that it had successfully shot down a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber. This comes shortly after Kyiv claimed to have taken out another Su-34 near the Russian-controlled city of Mariupol. The incident occurred at approximately 9 a.m. local time.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian air force announced that it had successfully destroyed a total of 10 Su-34s and two Su-35s since February 17. Additionally, on February 23, Ukraine managed to destroy an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft. This particular aircraft, known for its strategic value, assists Russia in coordinating attacks alongside its fighter jets.

Russia’s air force, despite being significantly larger and more advanced than Ukraine’s, has suffered considerable losses. This is a blow to the Kremlin, as it contrasts sharply with the territorial gains made by Russia’s ground forces in recent weeks. These gains include the capture of the strategically important city of Avdiivka on the eastern frontlines.

According to recent Western assessments, Russia has made significant advances in multiple areas. These include the northeastern frontlines, the western and southern regions near the city of Kreminna, the western area of Avdiivka, and the Ukrainian forces near the Dnieper River in the Kherson region.

When the jets crash, Russia not only suffers the loss of expensive and valuable aircraft but also the invaluable expertise of the pilots who are killed.

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According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian forces seem to be willing to take the risk of further aviation losses in order to achieve tactical gains in eastern Ukraine.

According to the latest assessment by the think tank, Moscow is believed to be making efforts to regain air superiority around Avdiivka in order to support its tactical advancements. The analysis suggests that the Russian forces have decided that the potential benefits of conducting offensive operations with air support outweigh the risks of losing more aircraft.

According to the think tank, Russia is estimated to possess approximately 300 Sukhoi fighter aircraft, consisting of Su-34 and Su-35 models.

According to Colonel Yuriy Ignat, spokesperson of the Ukrainian air force, Moscow has chosen not to deploy any of its remaining A-50s around the Sea of Azov in recent days. He suggested that Russian fighter jets may need to “fly closer” to their targets in order to drop aerial bombs.

Russia significantly increased its utilization of glide bombs to seize Avdiivka, overpowering Ukrainian defenses in the once-fortified area before Kyiv’s retreat in mid-February.

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