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Air Force: Patriot air defense system operates near front line

by Kateryna Denisova March 14, 2024 3:52 PM 2 min read
Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk presents awards to the soldiers of the Air Force's anti-aircraft missile forces, who defend Kyiv Oblast and other areas on June 20, 2023. (Photo: Mykola Oleshchuk/Telegram)
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Ukraine's military continues to use the Patriot air defense system in designated areas of the front line, Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on March 14.

His statement came after Forbes reported on March 9 that Russia had allegedly destroyed two Patriot launchers near Pokrovsk in Donetsk Oblast, for the first time since the start of all-out war. The Ukrainian military did not comment on these claims.

Oleshchuk said the Air Force apply "all available tools" to counter Russian aircraft.

Previous reports indicate that 13 Russian warplanes were downed in February and two more in March. This list includes 12 fighter bombers, two Su-35 fighter jets, and a rare A-50 military spy plane. Another A-50 aircraft was reportedly downed in January.

Yuri Ihnat, the Air Force's spokesperson, attributed this success to air defense systems supplied by Ukraine's allies, which reportedly can be moved closer to the border or the front line after a decision of the military leadership.

Ukraine destroyed 13 Russian military aircraft in 2 weeks. How?
Ukraine reported the downing of 13 Russian warplanes within the last two weeks, among the highest Russian Air Force losses since the early days of the full-scale invasion. This list includes 10 Su-34 fighter bombers, two Su-35 fighter jets, and one more rare A-50 military spy plane. Another A-50 ai…

The Air Force commander said in early March that Ukrainian military managed to attack Russian planes at a distance of over 150 kilometers.

The loss of the aircraft led to a "significant" decrease in the number of Russia’s guided bomb strikes, the weapons that Ukraine is not yet able to counter, according to Oleshchuk.

Russia's total losses during the all-out war amount to about 672 aircraft — 347 planes and 325 helicopters, according to Ukraine's General Staff.

The General Staff's figure could not be independently verified.


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