Ukraine Says Downed Record Number of Russian Jets

Ukraine said Thursday it had destroyed a record number of Russian planes in February, at a time when ground forces are under increased pressure in the east.

AFP was unable to verify the claims, and Russian authorities do not comment.

“Our sky defenders have achieved the greatest results in downing Russian jets since October 2022,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said.

It said 10 Su-34, two Su-35 fighter jets, and an A-50 aircraft had been shot down in February.

The tally included three Su-34s downed overnight, which were “launching guided missiles at our infantry positions in the east,” ground forces commander Oleksandr Pavliuk said.

Ukraine had said it had shot down another A-50 plane in January.

The claims are hard to verify, but Russian military bloggers had mentioned the destruction of the A-50 aircraft — although they blamed friendly fire.

Russian military bloggers, who have sources in the armed forces, often publish exclusive information contrary to government sources and Russian state media outlets.

The British defense ministry on Tuesday also mentioned two A-50 downed, noting the incidents “forced Russian decision makers to consider safer operating areas.”

Two years into the invasion, Ukraine has said its priority was to “throw Russia from the skies.”

Ukraine is expecting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets supplied by its Western allies.

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