Ukraine’s air defenses have shot down about 55 Russian fighter jets since the beginning of the war, the US Air Force commander in Europe said Monday, adding that Russia has never been able to establish air superiority over Ukraine.
Russia was well aware of Ukraine’s air defenses, Gen. James Hecker told the Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Washington, DC, but Russia’s initial strikes in late-February failed to destroy those defenses, such as surface-to-air missiles.
As a result, after six months of the war, Russian aircraft rarely fly deep into Ukraine and instead are firing long-range missiles.
“When they tried to take their fighters and their aircraft inside those [Ukrainian] missile engagement zones, they were shot down,” said Hecker. “Roughly about 55 Russian fighters have been shot down by the integrated air and missile defense for the Ukraine.”
On Monday, the British Ministry of Defence said Russia had lost 55 combat jets since the start of the war, including four that were "highly likely" lost in the past 10 days.