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Ukraine says it shot down 2 more Russian fighter jets — extending its streak to 6 in just 3 days

A Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber fires missiles during the Aviadarts competition, as part of the International Army Games 2021, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia Aug. 27, 2021.
A Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter bomber over Russia.REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
  • Ukraine said it destroyed two Russian fighter jets on Monday morning.

  • This adds to the four it claimed to have destroyed over the weekend.

  • Ukraine has been successful in holding back Russia's vastly superior air force throughout the war.

Ukraine said it destroyed two more Russian fighter jets on Monday, bringing its claimed tally to six jets shot down in just three days.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces, said in a statement that Ukraine's air force destroyed two Russian aircraft on Monday: A Su-34 fighter-bomber and a Su-35S fighter jet.

He said the aircraft were destroyed on Monday morning after they had been attacking Ukrainian troop positions with guided air bombs.

Syrskyi's announcement came after Ukraine's air force chief, Mykola Oleshchuk, said his forces had destroyed four Russian aircraft over the weekend: Three Su-34s and one Su-35.

The Su-34 is considered Russia's best fighter bomber, costing $50 million each, according to Forbes.

The Su-35, meanwhile, has a bomb load of over 17,000 pounds.

Ukraine's air force is outclassed by Russia's air power, with far fewer planes and much older models. But Ukraine has been able to restrict Russia's planes to a limited role in the fight, largely by using its air defense systems to keep them in their own airspace and unable to fly over Ukraine.

Professor Justin Bronk, an expert on Russia and air warfare at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, told BI that Ukraine has been able to make Russia's air force "largely irrelevant to the conflict."

He described this as a "very impressive" achievement by Ukraine.

Ukraine has previously shot down several Russian jets: In December, Ukraine said it eliminated three Russian Su-34s over a two-day period.

Ukraine also said it shot down a Russian A-50 radar early-warning plane in January, an expensive and rare Russian jet that helps it coordinate its battlefield activities.

Those losses were "embarrassing" for Russia given its superior air force, Rajan Manon, a Russia and Ukraine expert and a director of the US-based Defense Priorities think tank, previously told BI.

Russia has also taken down some Ukrainian aircraft as part of its full-scale invasion, which it launched in February 2022.

Ukraine has repeatedly urged its allies to give it fighter jets that would enable it to shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft.

The US said in August 2023 that US-manufactured F-16s could be sent to Ukraine.

Ukraine's pilots are training on the fighter jets, but it's unclear when they will be able to be used in the conflict.

A Pentagon official said last month that the US and other Ukrainian allies expect Ukraine's air force to achieve "initial operating capability" on the F-16s by the end of this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider