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Ukraine Strikes Back: Downed $50M Russian Su-34 Adds to 332 Aircraft Losses in Nearly Two-Year-Old Conflict

Ukraine Downs Russian Fighter Bomber as Aircraft Losses Mount
Source: MEGA

Ukraine claims it shot down another Russian Su-34 fighter bomber.

Feb. 2 2024, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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Ukraine's military has continued to achieve significant successes in neutralizing Russian military assets, with one recent incident occurring in the disputed Luhansk region.

Ukrainian armed forces reportedly downed a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber recently, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Social media posts depicted images of smoke and flames, reinforcing the claim.

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Despite Ukraine's assertion, a Telegram channel named "FighterBomber," aligned with Russia, denied the Ukrainian account, according to Metro.

The Kremlin has yet to provide an official statement, leaving the fate of the bomber's crew undisclosed.

If validated, this marks another blow to Russia's fleet of Su-34 jets. Knewz.com had previously reported three Su-34s shot down by Ukraine in a single day in late December 2023.

Russia had acknowledged a Su-34 crash during a supposed "scheduled training flight" in September, per Newsweek, and an incident in October 2022 resulted in a Su-34 crashing into a residential area, claiming at least 13 lives.

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The loss of each Sukhoi aircraft represents a considerable financial setback for Russia, with an estimated cost of around $50 million per unit. Knewz.com reported that the Russian military stationed several Su-34s in Voronezh, a city near the border.

Ukrainian government adviser Anton Gerashchenko reported through X that 332 Russian aircraft had been destroyed during the 23 months of conflict. This figure includes two warplanes lost over the Sea of Azov on Jan. 14 — the A-50 observation plane and Il-22 aerial command plane — both reported as "destroyed.”

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The impact on Russia's air capabilities is evident, with a decrease in the frequency of flights reported by the Kyiv Independent, citing the Institute for the Study of War.

The British Defense Ministry disclosed that Russia had lost a significant number of battle tanks (at least 2,600) and armored vehicles (4,900) in 23 months of warfare, though Ukraine's defense ministry contends the numbers are even higher.

Beyond the equipment losses, the human toll on the Russian military is substantial. According to Ukranews.com, Ukraine claimed to have successfully eliminated 1,070 Russian soldiers on Jan. 28 alone. The estimated overall Russian death toll exceeds 383,000, a figure roughly equivalent to the population of New Orleans according to the U.S. Census.

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