On December 17, the Air Force Commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, announced that Russian air defenses had successfully brought down a Su-25 jet belonging to Moscow.
Oleshchuk emphasized that the incident was not a result of Ukrainian air defense actions, stating, “I can confidently say that it wasn’t Ukrainian air defense.”
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that this marked Russia’s 325th aircraft lost since the commencement of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, as of December 17, Ukraine claimed that Russia had lost 324 helicopters.
Earlier on December 5, Ukraine’s Air Force had reported the downing of a Russian Su-24M bomber aircraft. The incident occurred as the Russian aircraft attempted to launch missiles towards targets in Odesa Oblast.
Ukrainian officials and military observers have noted Russia’s growing air superiority near the front lines. According to Ukrainian sources, air power has been cited as one of the contributing factors to the failure of the summer counteroffensive.