Kyiv lost 96 UAVs, and Moscow lost Su-34/Su-35 in 24-h blitz

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As reported by Interfax, the Russian Defense Ministry has disclosed the neutralization of a French SAMP/T anti-aircraft missile system and the elimination of 96 drones owned by the Ukrainian Armed Forces [VSU] within 24 hours. However, Ukraine has not issued any response to these claims made by Russia. 

Photo credit: Twitter

The report pointedly notes, “In 138 regions, the operational-tactical aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles, missile forces, and artillery of the Russian Federation’s armed forces have dismantled the SAMP/T anti-aircraft missile system, manufactured in France, and inflicted significant damage to the manpower and military machinery of the Ukrainian army.” 

The report further highlights that in regions including the LPR, DPR, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, air defense systems have successfully neutralized 96 Ukrainian drones and dismantled two HIMARS rocket launchers. 

Ukraine “proves” downed planes

Ukraine’s Armed Forces Air Force Commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, has produced evidence suggesting the destruction of a Russian front-line bomber, the Su-34. This evidence comes from the operation of the Cospas-Sarsat system. However, there has been no official response from Russia to these claims. 

The Cospas-Sarsat system is an invaluable tool for locating the personal radio beacons of pilots in the unfortunate event of an accident. The system triggers once a pilot ejects. Interestingly, only one beacon was detected, despite the Su-34 crew consisting of two individuals. This implies that, regrettably, one member of the Russian pilot team did not manage to evacuate the downed aircraft in time. But it’s worth noting that the pilot who managed to eject may not have necessarily survived. 

Photo by Marina Lustseva

In addition to this, Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol, uploaded a video displaying the tail portion of a Su-35 fighter jet submerged in water. This footage is from the captured village of Rybatske. Equally unsettling are the intercepted communications of Russian rescuers, reporting that the pilot of this particular aircraft was found “face down in the water”.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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