Nine Ukrainian Jets Destroyed In 24 Hours, Russia’s Military Says

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The Kremlin has continued to signal to the West that the dozens of US F-16 fighter jets currently being prepped to transfer to Ukraine are as good as dead on arrival. Past weeks of media reports have indicated that a handful of European countries will begin sending F-16s by some point this summer, when Ukrainian pilots complete their training on the advanced fighter.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it launched a major attack on an airfield in central Ukraine, which destroyed and damaged seven Ukrainian fighter jets. The location was identified as the Myrhorod airbase in the country’s Poltava region. Two more were reported shot down in a separate operation.

“As a result of the Russian army’s strike, five active Su-27 multi-purpose fighters were destroyed and two under repair were damaged,” the military announced on Telegram.

The statement was accompanied by aerial footage, and the whole attack was also confirmed by a Ukrainian official who described that the strike happened, but the extent of destruction was exaggerated by the Russian side.

“There are losses, but not at all like the enemy claims because they always do this since the beginning of the invasion,” Ukraine’s former Air Force speaker Yuriy Ihnat stated.

He additionally said to Reuters that Russian reconnaissance drones provided a key role in the attack on Myrhorod and present a “very serious threat” – as they were able to spot the Ukrainian aircraft parked on the ground. “It flies and reports everything in real-time, and then Iskander arrives in a couple of minutes. It is obvious,” Ihnat explained.

In total Russia’s defense ministry (MoD) said its forces had taken out nine Ukrainian fighter jets on Tuesday over a 24 hour period, as two had reportedly been shot down while in flight. According to statements in TASS:

Russian forces struck nine Ukrainian Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter jets over the past day in the special military operation in Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.

“Also, nine Ukrainian Air Force aircraft were hit over the past 24 hours. A combined strike by precision weapons against an airfield destroyed five and damaged two Su-27 planes of the enemy’s Air Force. Another two Ukrainian MiG-29 and Su-27 aircraft were shot down by Russian air defenses,” the ministry said in a statement.

Last Thursday the Russian military had announced that it struck airbases in Ukraine which were set up to eventually house Western-supplied jets.

Below is a reconnaissance clip of Myrhorod airfield featured by state media:

The MoD said it used long-range sea-based weapons to attack “airfield infrastructure of Ukraine, planned to accommodate aircraft from Western countries,” according to state media. This included the use of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles alongside drones, the statement indicated.

TASS has also issued the following battlefield data on Tuesday: “In all, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 625 Ukrainian warplanes, 276 helicopters, 27,121 unmanned aerial vehicles, 535 surface-to-air missile systems, 16,478 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 1,362 multiple rocket launchers, 11,215 field artillery guns and mortars and 23,238 special military motor vehicles since the start of the special military operation, the ministry reported.” These huge losses on the Ukrainian side have resulted in Ukrainian officials essentially begging for more arms and equipment from NATO countries at a faster rate.