Russia has highly likely lost at least four combat jets in Ukraine within the last 10 days, taking its attrition to approximately 55 since the start of the invasion.
There is a realistic possibility that this uptick in losses is partially a result of the Russian Air Force accepting greater risk as it attempts to provide close air support to Russian ground forces under pressure from Ukrainian advances. Russian pilots’ situational awareness is often poor; there is a realistic possibility that some aircraft have strayed over enemy territory and into denser air defence zones as the front lines have moved rapidly.
Russia’s continued lack of air superiority remains one of the most important factors underpinning the fragility of its operational design in Ukraine.
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