A £41million Su-34 bomber was reportedly shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force yesterday morning. The powerful jet was taken down in Izyum, a city near Severodonetsk, one of the current focal points for the Russian tyrant’s invasion. Prior to the war, the Su-34 was tipped to be one of Russia’s most powerful assets – but its performance has proven lacklustre.
A statement by the Ukrainian Air Force read: “On June 12, at about 10am a Russian Su-34 bomber-carrier was shot down by anti-aircraft missile forces of the Ukrainian Air Force in the region of Izyum in the Kharkiv region.”
The statement went on to detail how the bomber was shot out of the sky.
It said: “The Russian aircraft operated in pairs, attacking the positions of the Ukrainian defenders.
“After entering the defence zone, one of the hostile aircraft changed course, while the other pilots decided to try their share.
‘“Don’t be so lucky!’, the anti-aircraft soldiers responded and shot down the hovering aircraft, thus congratulating the invaders on ‘Russia Day’!
“The aircraft fell on the occupied territory. Whether the pilots survived the crash is to be clarified.”
The Ukrainian Air Force added that a Russian Orlan-10 UAV was also shot down by a surface-to-air missile unit.
Ukrainian forces have responded by taking the air battle to Russia’s army, with the Air Force also reporting a number of air strikes against “enemy positions”.
They added: “They struck at the concentration of enemy equipment and the enemy’s live ammunition.
“As a result of the air strike the stockpile of missile and artillery armour was destroyed.”
Before the war, the Su-34 was considered one of Russia’s most valuable warplanes, as it is able to fly in any weather and at night and operate as both a fighter and a bomber.
It has a range of 600 miles and a payload enabling it to carry 12 tons of ordnance.
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But the modern fighter jet has become a source of mockery for the Russian army.
In one instance, Ukrainians examining wrecked Su-34s discovered GPS receivers taped to their dashboards.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace reported the discovery, saying last month it was due to the “poor quality” of Russian systems.
Meanwhile, one group of Ukrainians have begun giving pieces of down Su-34s as keychains to anyone who donates over $1,000 to the war effort.
Since the invasion began, Russia has lost over 9,500 pieces of equipment, and around 32,300 troops.