Ukraine Shoots Down $100M Of Russian Fighter Jets

 February 18, 2024

In an extraordinary display of military defense, Ukrainian forces have dealt a significant blow to Russian aerial operations. On the morning of February 17, 2024, a trio of Russian warplanes met their demise over the contested skies of eastern Ukraine, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing conflict.

Mykola Oleshchuk, a name synonymous with Ukrainian resilience, recounts the successful engagement against formidable adversaries. In a strategic operation, two Russian Su-34 fighter bombers and one Su-35 fighter were downed, a testament to the efficiency and readiness of Ukraine's air defense capabilities. This feat, valued at over a staggering $100 million in losses for Moscow, underscores the enhanced threat that advanced Western air defense systems pose to Russian aviation ambitions.

The narrative of the conflict took a poignant turn with President Volodymyr Zelensky's announcement of Ukraine's withdrawal from Avdiivka on February 18, 2024. This decision was not made lightly, emphasizing the preservation of soldier's lives above all strategic holdings in the face of a dire military stance exacerbated by ammunition shortages and anticipation of a substantial US military aid package.

Avdiivka: A city under siege turns a new chapter

The siege of Avdiivka, a strategic city in the Donetsk region, has been a focal point of Russian aggression since October, leading to devastating casualties and rampant destruction. The decision to pull back, articulated by newly appointed commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky, reflects a strategic pivot to fortify defense lines on more favorable terms to avoid encirclement amidst dwindling resources and numerical disadvantage against Russian forces, Daily Mail reported.

Volodymyr Zelensky eloquently captures the gravity of the situation, stating, "To avoid being surrounded, it was decided to withdraw to other lines. This does not mean that people retreated some kilometers and Russia captured something, it did not capture anything."

Despite the strategic withdrawal, Ukrainian forces, under the guidance of commander Oleksandr Tarnavsky, held steadfast to a secondary line of defense, demonstrating unwavering resolve even as some servicemen were captured during the operation's final stages. The symbolic victory for Russia in Avdiivka belies the underlying resilience and strategic recalibration of Ukrainian defense efforts.

As the dust settles on the ruins of Avdiivka, where less than 1,000 residents remain from a pre-war populace of 30,000, the international community turns its gaze towards the pending $60 billion US military aid package for Ukraine. This financial infusion stands as a beacon of hope for Ukrainian officials ardently lobbying for increased support to counteract continued Russian aggression and the strategic disadvantage posed by Russian claims over Donetsk.

The tenacity of spirit amid escalating conflict

The narratives of Ukrainian servicemen, encapsulated by the somber resignation of a sergeant from the Donetsk region, underscore the harrowing reality of a city reduced to rubble.

Yet, amidst the echoes of conflict, the undeterred spirit of Ukraine's military apparatus shines through, promising resilience against overwhelming odds.

Mykola Bielieskov encapsulates the indomitable spirit of Ukraine in the face of adversity, "I doubt that Russia, after such staggering losses, can turn limited local successes into a breakthrough."


The downing of three Russian warplanes by Ukrainian forces underscores a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict over eastern Ukraine, signifying a formidable display of air defense capabilities fostered by advanced Western technology.

Concurrently, the strategic withdrawal from Avdiivka illustrates a poignant chapter in Ukraine's military strategy, prioritizing the preservation of life amidst unsustainable military engagements.

This stance, coupled with the anticipation of a robust US military aid package, illuminates the resilient spirit of Ukraine's defense forces in their unyielding stand against aggression and their continuous endeavor for strategic recalibration in the face of adversity.

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