Four fighters, two MiG-29 and Su-25 each were shot down – Russia

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation claims that Ukraine has lost four fighter jets this week. Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense announced at his regular briefing the place where the Ukrainian fighters were shot down.

Russian pilots shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 in the sky over the DPR
Photo credit: Wkimedia

In the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR], two Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29s have been shot down. One was shot down over Novoukrainka and the other over Sergevka. The two MiG-29s were shot down in the middle of the week of April 19, 2023.

The two Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jets that were shot down were announced yesterday by the Russian Defense Ministry. One was shot down over Dolgenkoye [Kharkiv Oblast], while the other over Ugledar in the DPR.

How were the fighters shot down?

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the two MiG-29s were shot down using air-to-air missiles by Russian fighter jets. The MoD does not say which Russian fighter jets were involved. Even this time, no video has been released to accompany the claims. The Russian Ministry of Defense has a habit of publishing videos it claims are from a specific action. However, very often these videos do not prove the claims, as they show preparation, take-off, rocket launch, and landing. There is no multimedia evidence of a Ukrainian plane being hit or down, but that doesn’t change the claim.

Confirmed: US integrated AGM-88 HARM into Ukrainian MiG-29s
Photo credit: MoD Ukraine

The other two Ukrainian Su-25 fighters were shot down by air defense systems. The Ministry of Defense claims that the two Su-25s were shot down by missiles fired from the portable anti-aircraft missile complex 9K38 Igla. In this case, there is also no multimedia evidence of a hit or shot down a plane, which does not change the statement, however.

Pairs in the air

Since the end of last year and the beginning of this year, Russia has significantly improved its performance in the air. Arguably, it is drastically minimizing its fighter losses while at the same time increasing Ukrainian Air Force losses.

Analysts say that Russia is increasingly using different pairs of combat aircraft in the air. Su-30SM2 or Su-35 are paired with MiG-31BM. The first aircraft is used as a decoy to engage the enemy while the MiG-31 fires a P-37M air-to-air missile. This missile has a long range.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, Russia claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility. Russia claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers. They tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

MiG-31BMs get R-74M missile hitting targets in the rear hemisphere
Photo credit: MWM

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, a “special military operation” can only take place after a UN resolution. There is no such resolution. So this is an invasion and war against Ukraine.


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