On December 22, 2023, reports emerged from Ukrainian military sources indicating the successful downing of three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers over southern Ukraine.
Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, confirmed the strike, stating, “Today, at noon, on the southern front, we’ve neutralized three Russian Su-34 bomber aircraft.”
Telegram channels closely linked to the Russian military confirmed the loss of three Su-34 aircraft and released images from the crash site of one of the downed aircraft. Reports indicate that part of the aircrew perished, while some managed to eject safely.
The Su-34, known as the “Fullback” by NATO, stands as a modern, versatile two-seater fighter-bomber designed for precision strikes against ground and aerial targets. Its deployment by Russia in southern Ukraine, notably in areas like Kherson, significantly heightened ongoing hostilities.
This interception further underscores the Ukrainian military’s capability in countering aerial threats and safeguarding its airspace during the ongoing conflict.
Ukrainian forces have reported a significant number of Russian aircraft losses since the commencement of the full-scale invasion. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russia has allegedly lost 324 warplanes and helicopters since the invasion began.
Before the recent downing of three Su-34s, Ukraine had reportedly shot down over 20 of these aircraft during the conflict. Russia is estimated to have possessed 155 Su-34s before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.
The confrontation between Ukrainian and Russian forces continues to intensify, with both sides engaged in escalated military actions across various regions. The successful interception of the Su-34 fighter bombers underscores the ongoing tensions and the fierce nature of the conflict.