Russia Loses 24 of Its Best Fighter Jets, Turns to Obsolete Planes: Ukraine
Newsweek – Jason Lemon
Russia is reportedly turning to “outdated” fighter jets after it lost about two dozen Su-35 aircraft in its ongoing assault on Ukraine, according to a social media post on Thursday.
In a post, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russia was going to start using “old” Su-24M bombers after Moscow’s forces lost “two squadrons” in the war.
“The SU-35 aircrafts also showed a low level of durability. During the full-scale aggression, the occupants lost two squadrons of such aircraft—it’s about 24 units,” Ukrainian Brigadier General Alexei Gromov said, the post reported.
Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov reportedly said that Russia “plans to use outdated Su-24M bombers.” Hromov also said Thursday that Moscow’s accuracy in recent strikes has been low, as its pilots reportedly want to avoid being shot down.
“The enemy’s planes and helicopters avoid flying into the range of our air defences, and therefore the accuracy of these strikes is low,” the general said, Reuters reported.
Newsweek has not verified Ukraine’s statements about the Russian planes.
Moscow continues to say that its “military action” in Ukraine is going according to plan, despite a lack of substantial gains and a major walk-back from its early ambitions of taking control of the country. Putin’s forces are now focusing their efforts far more narrowly on the south-eastern Donbas region in recent months, after failing to make significant forward progress in the first several weeks of the war.
Putin and other Kremlin leaders said that their invasion is necessary to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish and was elected with nearly three-quarters of the vote in 2019. At that time, Ukraine’s prime minister was also Jewish. Members of Zelensky’s family died in the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s armed forces said that nine Russian military aircraft had been destroyed at a Crimea base. Crimea was recognized as part of Ukraine under international law and treaties, but Moscow annexed the region in 2015 as it also backed separatist rebels in eastern regions of Ukraine. Russia denied that the aircraft had been destroyed, and Ukraine stopped short of claiming responsibility for their destruction.