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Military: Ukraine downs Russian Su-34 jet over Luhansk Oblast

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 30, 2024 10:43 AM 1 min read
A Su-34 in the sky over Kubinka airfield in Moscow Oblast in Russia on Aug. 29, 2020. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Mihail Tokmakov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian air defenses reportedly shot down a Russian Su-34 jet over Luhansk Oblast on Jan. 29, said Andrii Kovalev, a spokesperson for the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, on national television on Jan. 30.

The downing of the jet brings the total of Russian military aircraft lost since the beginning of the full-scale invasion to an estimated total of 332 as of Jan. 30.

The destruction of the Su-34 jet is the latest in a recent uptick of downed Russian planes, including a Beriev A-50 military observation plane earlier in January, which reportedly cost $330 million to produce.

An Ilyushin Il-22 plane that operates as an airborne command post was also reportedly damaged on the same day in January.

There are signs that the uptick in aircraft losses has caused Russia to change its aerial strategy, reducing the number of sorties flown by Russia's Air Force, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in December 2023.

Ukraine’s air defense notches a string of successes against Russian air power
The sharp uptick in downing planes in recent weeks emerges as a bright spot for Ukraine among a lack of progress on the battlefield.

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