According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a Russian fighter plane was shot down by the Ukrainian air force in an aerial confrontation on Friday afternoon.
“A MiG-29 fighter of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian Su-35 fighter in the sky of Kherson region today, May 27, at about 2 p.m.,” the air force said in a statement. It went on to say that the Su-35 was “searching for Ukrainian attack aircraft.”
“Ukraine’s pilots deserve a pat on the back! The occupiers must perish! “declared the message.
The dogfight is the latest setback for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has so far failed to overcome Ukrainian military resistance since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on February 24. The air war, in particular, has been disastrous. “The Russian Air Force continues to show no signs of waging an air superiority campaign,” retired British Air Marshal Edward Stringer told Newsweek previously.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Su-35 fighter jets like the one shot down Friday bombed Ukrainian targets last week, destroying “military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the special military operation.”
Since February 24, Russian forces have claimed responsibility for the destruction of 179 warplanes, 127 helicopters, 1,019 unmanned aerial vehicles, 323 air defense systems, 3,266 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, 433 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,682 artillery systems, and 3,190 military vehicles, according to Russian forces. Furthermore, Russia has fired more missiles than any other country since World War II during the three-month conflict.
Ukraine’s Russian fighter jet
A Russian fighter jet was shot down over Ukraine’s Kherson region on Friday, according to the Ukrainian air force. During a rehearsal for a Victory Day parade on May 4, Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets and MiG-29 fighter jets fly over downtown Moscow. AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
Since the invasion began, Russia has lost 29,750 troops, 1,322 tanks, 3,246 armored fighting vehicles, 623 artillery systems, 201 multiple launch rocket systems, 93 air defense systems, 206 warplanes, 170 helicopters, 503 unmanned aerial vehicles, 115 cruise missiles, 13 warships, 2,226 military vehicles and fuel tankers, and 48 special equipment units, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
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The conflict, which has not yielded the quick and easy triumph that Putin had hoped for, has taken a toll on the Russian people and economy as a result of harsh sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries. According to reports, an increasing number of Russian elites are turning against Putin and his war, with even government officials denouncing him for refusing to get out of Ukraine.
Leonid Vasyukevich, a member of Russia’s Communist Party who sits on a regional legislative assembly in the country’s Far East, was hauled out of a high-level meeting with Putin on Friday after he asked for Russian soldiers to be withdrawn.
“We believe that until our nation stops the military action, we will have many more orphans,” Vasyukevich added. “During the military action, young individuals who may assist our nation much are killed or handicapped.”
Some Russian officials labeled Vasyukevich a “traitor” in reaction.