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Air Force: Ukraine downs 3 Russian Su-34 supersonic aircraft

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 22, 2023 5:37 PM 2 min read
A Su-34 in the sky over Kubinka airfield on Aug. 29, 2020. (Mihail Tokmakov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Ukraine downed three Russian Su-34 supersonic fighter-bomber aircraft on the southern front, Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk announced on Dec. 22.

The Su-34 can carry out air strikes on targets up to 600 miles away while carrying 12 metric tons of bombs and missiles.

"The hunt for them lasted for a long period of time," National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov told Ukrainske Radio. "These aircraft interfered and created danger for our soldiers."

"I sincerely congratulate everyone who took part in this. A perfect result," Danilov said.  

Radio Svoboda reported that while Ukraine did not reveal precisely where the jets were shot down, Russian military telegram channels claimed that they were downed near Krynky in Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast.

The village lies on the southern bank of the Dnipro River, which forms part of the front line.

"These are one of the newest planes in service with the Russian army," and are used to carry out aerial bomb and missile strikes, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said on air.

According to Ihnat, a Su-34 has not been included in the statistics of Russian losses for a long time, and each one costs "at least 50 million dollars."

There have been multiple incidents involving the jets on Russian territory since the start of the full-scale invasion. Six people were killed in October 2022 when a Su-34 crashed into a residential building in the town of Yeysk, Krasnodar Krai, killing six people.

A Su-34 accidentally fired its ammunition on the Russian city of Belgorod in April 2023, damaging buildings and injuring two people. In September, Russian state media reported that a Su-34 crashed in Voronezh.

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