On Christmas Eve, 24 December, Ukrainian forces downed two Russian fighter jets, the Su-34 and Su-30, according to the Ukrainian General Staff. The Su-34 bomber was confirmed destroyed earlier, while details on the Su-30 were still being clarified.
“It was confirmed that our anti-aircraft missile system hit a Su-34 fighter bomber in the Mariupol sector! It did not return to the airfield. In the Odesa sector, we conducted a combat operation against a Russian Su-30 in the Black Sea – we are studying the materials of objective control to know for sure whether the target was hit or not,” Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on Telegram.
The Ukrainian General Staff now confirms the destruction of the Su-30.
Earlier, on 22 December, Ukrainian forces claimed to have downed three Su-34s on the southern front. The specific method remains unknown, but experts suggest it might involve the American Patriot air defense system.
The Su-34 and Su-30 are modern combat aircraft with a cost of tens of millions of dollars each.
The Su-34 serves as a carrier for guided air-to-ground munitions like X-59 missiles, used by the Russians in attacks on Kherson Oblast and other Ukrainian regions. The Su-30, a two-seater multirole fighter based on the Su-27UB, is designed for air superiority, long-range patrolling, escorting, radar surveillance, and training-combat purposes.