A Su-34 fighter-bomber burned down at the Shagol airfield in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, located east of the Ural Mountains, Kyiv Post’s intelligence sources said, later confirmed by officials on Telegram.

In the early hours of Jan. 4, according to a special services source, a Su-34 strike aircraft, the type launching missiles at Ukrainian cities, burned at its base deep in Russia with possible Ukrainian involvement.

“It burned down at work. It overworked and burned out,” the source told Kyiv Post.

The source hints that the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry (HUR) is behind this.

“There were whispers,” the source added.

The HUR has now confirmed the destruction of the aircraft on Telegram, with accompanying video purportedly showing the aircraft in question engulfed in flames, stating that the cause of the fire is “being clarified.”

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The HUR Telegram post reads: “On the night of January 4, 2024, a Su-34 tactical bomber burned down at the Russian airfield ‘Shagol’ (Chelyabinsk).

“The combat aircraft belonged to the aviation regiment of the 21st Mixed Aviation Division of the Russian Air Force. The reasons for the plane catching fire are being clarified.”

In December 2023, Ukraine destroyed six Russian strike aircraft, including other Su-34s. This includes when Ukrainian forces successfully shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in the southern sector on Dec. 22.

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According to the UA War Infographics project, Ukraine took out 45 Russian aircraft in 2023. January was the most successful month for Ukraine’s hunters of enemy aircraft.

Project analysts said: “The Ukrainian Armed Forces shot down 45 Russian planes in 2023, most of them in January – 10 aircraft. And in recent months, the Ukrainian Armed Forces seem to have started hunting [more of] them down.”

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