Ukraine Claims to Shoot Down 5 Russian Warplanes in Under Three Days

25 December 2023

The alleged takedowns occur amidst a series of reported Russian drone strikes across Ukraine

Ukraine has made a bold claim, stating that it shot down five Russian warplanes in less than three days. These assertions come at a time when Ukraine is facing a barrage of reported Russian Shahed drone strikes across the country. Russia, in turn, has also claimed to have shot down four Ukrainian warplanes. The escalating conflict between the two nations has raised concerns about the potential for further escalation and the impact it may have on the region.

Ukraine’s Remarkable Kill Streak

Ukraine’s announcement of shooting down four Russian warplanes, including an Su-34 fighter/bomber, was met with jubilation. Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleschuk took to Telegram to express his excitement, stating, “Merry Christmas!” The claimed takedowns include three Su-34 fighter-bombers, allegedly destroyed on December 22, and the fourth Su-34, said to have been taken down near Mariupol on December 24. Additionally, an Su-30 fighter was reported to have been destroyed over the Black Sea. Andriy Yermak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also celebrated the takedowns with an emoji-filled message.

A Rare Feat for Ukraine

Destroying five planes in such a short span of time would be an exceptional achievement for Ukraine. Since February 24, 2022, Ukraine claims to have taken down 329 Russian planes, averaging less than 0.5 per day. The recent takedowns highlight the effectiveness of Ukraine’s anti-aircraft systems and its ability to counter Russian aggression. Analysts suggest that the US-supplied Patriot missile defense system may have played a role in these claimed strikes.

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Russia’s Claims of Ukrainian Strikes

In a tit-for-tat response, Russia has also claimed to have shot down four Ukrainian aircraft. On Sunday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense stated that its air defense systems had taken down three Su-27 fighters and one Su-24 tactical bomber. The planes were allegedly shot down over the southeastern regions of Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk. However, the Ministry of Defense provided no further details, leaving the claims unverified.

Waves of Russian Drone Strikes

The alleged Ukrainian takedowns occurred amidst a series of reported Russian drone strikes across multiple targets in Ukraine. On Friday, warnings were issued regarding approaching Shahed exploding drones in Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, and Sumy Oblasts. Oleschuk, in his posts about the downed planes, also urged people to take cover amid Shahed attacks. As of Monday, Ukraine claimed to have shot down 28 Shahed drones in overnight attacks.

Conclusion:

The escalating conflict between Ukraine and Russia has reached a new level with Ukraine claiming to have taken down five Russian warplanes in under three days. These alleged takedowns highlight Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression and the effectiveness of its anti-aircraft systems. However, Russia’s claims of shooting down Ukrainian aircraft add another layer of complexity to the situation. The ongoing series of Russian drone strikes further exacerbates the tensions between the two nations. As the conflict continues, the international community watches with concern, hoping for a peaceful resolution to avoid further escalation and potential regional instability.

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