Ukrainian Patriot Missile Shot Down Three Russian Su-34 Fighter Bombers

Ukraine shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter bombers over the southern front on Friday morning, its air force said.

Russian Telegram accounts said the aircraft were shot down by Patriot anti-aircraft missiles near Ukraine’s Kherson bridgehead over the river Dnipro.

Oleksii Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s security council, said they had been “hunting” the three jets for a “long time”.

“These aircraft interfered and created danger for our soldiers,” he said.

The Su-34 is one of Russia’s most advanced aircraft and can carry out strikes on targets up to 600 miles away with a payload of 12 tons of bombs and missiles.

Each Su-34 is reported to cost somewhere between $35 million and $45 million.

Lt Gen Mykola Oleshchuk, the Ukrainian air force commander, said soldiers had found the message “die, f—-rs” inscribed on shrapnel from a Russian Shahed drone downed overnight. “What a great idea! Here’s our answer,” he wrote on Telegram. “Today at noon on the southern front, three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers were downed! Eternal flight, ‘brothers’!”

According to the Ukrainian military, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has lost 324 warplanes and helicopters.

Russia is thought to have had around 150 Su-34s before it launched the invasion. More than 20 of them were reported as being shot down by Ukraine before Friday’s losses.

Russian Telegram channels published photographs suggesting that at least one pilot managed to eject successfully, with his parachute strewn across a field. The condition of the pilot is unknown.

Ukraine also shot down 24 of 28 Shahed drones launched by Russia in an overnight attack that damaged residential buildings in Kyiv and an infrastructure facility and grain warehouse in southern regions, officials said.

They added that more than two dozen Russian drones targeted Ukraine’s capital, hitting the 24th, 25th and 26th storeys of an apartment building and injuring two people.

In the south, Russia again tried to hit port infrastructure – a frequent target since it pulled out of a UN-brokered deal that allowed safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments via the Black Sea.

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