UK intelligence assesses Russia’s air power after downing Su-34

UK intelligence assesses Russia’s air power after downing Su-34

Previously, Russia’s tactical air power had been playing a key role in the south of Ukraine, especially attacking Ukraine’s bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. However, the downing of Russian combat aircraft made it impossible for Russia to conduct offensive operations in this area.

The UK Ministry of Defense said this in its intelligence update published on the social platform X, Ukrinform reports.

It is noted that on December 22, 2023, Ukrainian forces shot down three Russian Su-34 combat jets over southern Ukraine. Following the losses, Russia's air force almost completely ceased crewed operations in the south through late December 2023.

 “There is a realistic possibility that the lack of air support contributed to the failure of an attempt by Russian Ground Forces’ 18th Combined Arms Army to clear the bridgehead,” the intelligence said.

Read also: British intelligence analyzes course of fighting in Ukraine over last week

In addition, in recent days, Russia has again increased tactical air strikes around the bridgehead, but at a lower level than before the shootdowns.

“This once again demonstrates that Russia’s inability to establish air superiority in the early stages of the Russia-Ukraine war continues to undermine their daily operations,” the ministry said.

As reported by Ukrinform, the Defense Forces of Ukraine downed three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in the southern sector on December 22, 2023.

According to Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat, the cost of one Su-34 is at least $50 million. Russia currently has dozens of these aircraft in service.

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