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25 Oct, 2023 09:53

Ukrainian military getting weaker – Shoigu

Russian forces downed two dozen Ukrainian planes in just five days, the defense minister has claimed

Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said on Tuesday that the current situation in the combat zone suggests that the Ukrainian armed forces are losing strength and panicking.” He cited a substantial takedown of aviation potential to back up his assertion.

Shoigu claimed that his forces downed 24 Ukrainian military planes in just five days, crediting “new weapons systems” for the achievement.

He also pointed to manpower losses reducing Kiev’s offensive potential. Today’s situation shows that the enemy has fewer and fewer capabilities. And there are fewer of their soldiers thanks exclusively to your combat work,” he told servicemen from the Vostok Group.

“They are in panic, we know their tactics, we know their offensive and retreat plans,” he added.

Shoigu added that in the last three to four weeks many Ukrainians have been captured or have voluntarily surrendered. According to the minister, they speak about the poor psychological condition of their colleagues.

“We now have weapons systems which have taken down 24 planes in five days,” Shoigu was quoted as saying in a press release.

Footage of the discussion published by the military did not include the comments about the new weapons, while Shoigu did not detail the time frame in which the strikes on Ukrainian aircraft were conducted.

The Defense Ministry regularly reports successful engagements of Ukrainian military aircraft by fighter jets and air defense units. Briefings from last Friday to Tuesday claimed that 18 planes had been destroyed in total.

The list included 14 MiG-29s, two Su-24s, one Su-25, and one L-39. The latter is a Czech-produced trainer-fighter plane, rather than a more capable fighter or ground attack plane like the others. A single Mi-8 helicopter was taken down in the same period, according to the ministry.

The ministry’s briefing on Friday noted that in the week starting October 14, Russian forces took out 12 Ukrainian planes, including ten MiG-29s and two Su-25s. Seven of the MiGs were destroyed in a 24-hour period, the report said.

A source close to the Defense Ministry told TASS that Shoigu was referring to the use of the long-range air defense system S-400, with targeting data provided by the A-50 airborne radar. The interceptors fired during the engagement were reportedly armed with new warheads. The claim was not officially confirmed.

Shoigu attended the award ceremony after visiting one of the headquarters involved in the Ukrainian campaign. It was held in a tent in which weapons trophies appeared to be on display alongside portraits of Russian military commanders and Orthodox icons.