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28 May, 2024 23:37

Ukraine likely exaggerating military successes – Forbes

Kiev’s claims of downing Russian planes are not backed up by available evidence, the media said
Ukraine likely exaggerating military successes – Forbes

Ukraine has likely exaggerated the number of Russian warplanes it claims to have shot down, Forbes wrote on Monday.

The American business magazine analyzed statements made by Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky and the Defense Ministry, and came to the conclusion that not all of them can be independently verified. 

Kiev claimed that its 110th Mechanized Brigade had shot down seven Russian Su-25 attack aircraft between May 4 and May 25. However, only two supposed shootdowns were backed up by visual evidence, Forbes said, referring to “a grainy photo of something burning on the ground,” and a video that “might depict a missile hitting a low-flying jet.” 

“The only other visual ‘evidence’ the 110th Mechanized Brigade has offered actually comes from a video game,” the magazine said. It argued that “more likely, the 110th Mechanized Brigade has shot down at most two Russian attack jets in less than a month.”

Forbes cited data from the Oryx monitoring website that said Russia had lost at least 29 Su-25s since it launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Both Moscow and Kiev rarely reveal their own casualties or equipment losses. 

The Russian Defense Ministry has reported that its Su-25s participated in around a dozen air raids on Ukrainian positions this month alone. According to the Russian MOD, Ukraine has lost 604 military planes and 274 helicopters since the fighting began. 

According to Forbes, the 110th Mechanized Brigade suffered heavy losses during the battle for the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka and was ultimately forced to retreat in February 2024, “leaving behind potentially hundreds of casualties.” Like many other Ukrainian units, the brigade has been plagued with ammunition shortage prompted by delays in Western supplies. 

Kiev has consistently asked its Western supporters for US-made F-16 fighter planes, arguing that they are essential for gaining an upper hand on the battlefield. Belgium pledged on Tuesday to supply Ukraine with 30 F-16s by 2028. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned that no amount of foreign aid will change the outcome of the conflict.