Russia, Ukraine Trade Tales Of Aircraft Victories


While it’s not clear how the actual air war is going, the war of words between the Ukrainian and Russian air forces would suggest each other’s aircraft are dropping like flies. Last week, the Ukrainians said they shot down three Russian Su-34 Fullback attack aircraft that were getting ready to drop guided bombs on Ukrainian targets. It was termed “a brilliantly planned operation to destroy the enemy on the periphery of our country.” It was most likely carried out with U.S.-supplied Patriot ground-to-air missiles, but there has been no conclusive evidence offered as proof. That, according to the Ukrainians, brings to 10 the number of Russian aircraft brought down by Patriots.

Not to be outdone, at least in the PR department, Russian forces announced two days later that they’d taken out four Ukrainian aircraft. The Russians said they got three Su-27 fighters and one Su-24 tactical aircraft in the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions of southeastern Ukraine. No further details were offered. Aircraft losses are relatively rare in the conflict as both countries have robust ground defense systems and neither side is anxious to test the other’s.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Yeah and the Ukrainians scored a huge hit on a big Russian tank landing ship on Christmas. It was totally destroyed by air launched cruise missiles. This is an aviation story because much of the ship’s parts became airborne. Before the whole hulk was turned into a submarine. Can’t wait to see what they do for a Happy New Year’s greeting.

  2. Churchill said, The First Casulaty of Every War is the Truth. Happens in every war. For those that want a deeper study on UKraine I would recommend listening to US Army retired Col. Douglas MacGregor or Columbia University Professor Jeffery Sachs. Both can be found on youtube. Everything depends on the integrity of your sources.