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Ukraine claims it shot down 3 Russian Su-34 jets: ‘Brilliantly planned’

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Ukraine claimed to have shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber aircraft on Friday, reported news agency Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and military officials hailed it as a major achievement in the ongoing war against Russia. Zelensky credited the Odesa region anti-aircraft unit for downing the jets in Kherson.

Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber (Representational picture)(REUTERS)
Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber (Representational picture)(REUTERS)

“Today at noon in the southern sector — minus three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers!” Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on the Telegram messaging app as quoted by Reuters.

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However, the Russian military has not acknowledged the incident. According to Russian bloggers, US-supplied Patriot missiles were used to down the Russian jets.

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Ukraine’s air force spokesperson Yuri Ihnat hailed the incident as a “brilliantly planned operation.” “There haven’t been Su-34s for some time in our positive statistics,” he said.

On claims of usage of US-supplied Patriot missiles in the military operation, Ukrainian aviation expert Valeriy Romanenko weighed in during an interaction with Ukrainian NV Radio. Romanenko indicated Russians’ lack of judgement for the range of Patriot missiles.

“This was a situation there the Russians were…dropping up to 100 bombs in the south. Three were flying together and got caught. They didn’t quite take into account that the Patriot has a range of 160 km for aerodynamic targets,” said Romanenko.

Meanwhile, Zelensky said he had interacted with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte about the future delivery of F-16 jets, and also a new EU support package, reported BBC.

Recently, Ukraine’s President had given a year-end address and said that no one knows when the war against Russia would end. He had expressed hope of ending the war sooner in Ukraine’s favour if the country didn’t lose its resilience. He had also talked about receiving more Patriot air defence systems for bolstering the security forces.

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