Kyiv – In a potential turning point in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, Ukrainian forces have reportedly downed four Russian Su-34 fighter jets and possibly one Su-30 within a short span. These successful engagements are attributed to the effective deployment of American PATRIOT air defense systems.
Three Su-34s were allegedly downed on Friday, with the remaining Su-34 and the Su-30 (pending confirmation) on Sunday, December 24. The incidents, confirmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian Air Force, spotlight the efficacy of regional air defenses, particularly around Odessa.
The shot down of these aircraft marks a notable success for Ukrainian air defenses. Analysts highlight the pivotal role of US PATRIOT systems, known for their extensive range, in this achievement. Their effectiveness, previously demonstrated against a Kinzhal hypersonic missile, has been further validated against Russian air assets.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat praised the operation’s strategic execution, underscoring a significant triumph for Ukrainian military capabilities. The downings are celebrated as a major milestone in Ukraine’s defense efforts.