Amidst the Russia-Ukraine crisis, reports have surfaced claiming that the Ukrainian forces have shot down a Russian Su-34 Fullback strike fighter jet. Based on the Ukrainian media’s report, the plane was shot while passing over the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine. Specifically, the reports said that the plane was shot down in the Alchevsk city of the aforementioned region, a front-line region of the ongoing conflict. It is to be noted that the separatist fighters getting Russian support are in control of the region.
Videos posted show that the videos posted online on July 17 show that visibly the air defence system was fired by either the pro-separatist or the Russian forces from the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, followed by what seemed like a fireball that hits the ground later.
The burned wreckage of a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber was apparently seen in the videos and pictures posted by the Strategic Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the Telegram messaging platform.
The aircraft was later identified as RF-95890 by various sources like OSINT accounts and online war trackers, as visible in some of the images. It is to be noted that the Su-34s are fighter jets that need a lot of fuel for their flight and hence carry lots of fuel, which could have been a catalyst in the fireball that was recorded falling out of the sky.
Getting into further details, the aircraft was further identified as a rare Su-34M with certain upgrades to its avionics, communications system, and radar. To further support the claim, there have been earlier reports suggesting that the Su-34M fighter jets were delivered to the Russian Air Force. Moreover, a new order was placed in 2020 for the jets to be delivered in 2027.