According to a July 18 message from former FSB colonel Igor Girkin on Twitter, Russian air defense forces mistakenly shot down a Russian Su-34M fighter over Ukrainian airspace.

The cost of this newest and most advanced Russian fighter is estimated at around $50 million.

The registration number RF-95890 can be seen on the wreckage of the downed plane.  It is understood that only Russian troops fly the Su-34.

The incident was confirmed by the speaker of the Odesa regional military administration, Serhiy Bratchuk. He indicated that a Russian fighter jet was shot down in the sky over occupied Alchevsk, Luhansk region. Most likely, Russian forces accidentally destroyed it when they tried to take out a missile fired by the Ukrainian HIMARS multiple-launch missile system.

Thanks to the military support of Western allies, Ukraine has been able to strengthen its air defenses and successfully destroy Russian supply lines with the help of drones. However, recent reports suggest that Ukraine is losing its advantage in certain regions as Russia has strengthened its air defense and is using more advanced fighters.


According to Business Insider, the Russian media call the Su-34M a fighter-bomber of the 4++ generation. Its design is based on the Su-27 which aimed to compete with the U.S. military’s F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle.

The Su-34 first flew back in 1990 but has since been modified. Currently powered by Russian AL-31FM1 engines, the Su-34 can generate 30,000 pounds of thrust, allowing the aircraft to reach a top speed of Mach 1.8. Its specifications allow it to carry over 17,000 pounds of ammunition and a 30mm gun.

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Moreover, the updated version of the Su-34M boasts three different sensors, an electronic seeker, a camera and a synthetic aperture radar that can detect targets even in bad weather.

However, despite all its modern capabilities, the Su-34M was still able to fall victim to friendly fire. According to Forbes, this could have happened due to a malfunction in the “home-alien” identification system that modern airplanes possess. Or it could have been due to operator error.


So far, according to official information and confirmed photo evidence, Russia has lost at least 35 fighter jets. The report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that in the period from February 24 to July 21, total combat losses of the enemy include 221 aircraft and 38,850 liquidated personnel.

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