Ukraine likely inflated own combat successes – Forbes

Kiev’s claims of downing Russian planes aren’t backed by available evidence, the Western publican said

Ukraine has likely exaggerated the number of reported downings of Russian aircraft, Forbes wrote on Monday. The American business magazine analyzed the statements made by Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky and the country’s Defense Ministry and came to the conclusion that not all of them can be independently verified. 

Kiev claimed that its 110th Mechanized Brigade had shot down seven Russian Su-25 attack aircraft between May 4 and May 25. And yet, only two supposed shootdowns were backed by some sort of visual evidence, Forbes noted, referring to “a grainy photo of something burning on the ground,” and a video that “might depict a missile hitting a low-flying jet,” respectively. 

“The only other visual ‘evidence’ the 110th Mechanized Brigade has offered actually comes from a video game,” the magazine said. It argued that “more likely, the 110th Mechanized Brigade has shot down at most two Russian attack jets in less than a month.”

Forbes cited data from the Oryx monitoring website that said that Russia has lost at least 29 Su-25 since it launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Both Moscow and Kiev rarely reveal their own casualties and equipment losses. 

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Ukraine likely inflated own combat successes – Forbes
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The Russian Defense Ministry reported that its Su-25s participated in around a dozen of air raids on Ukrainian positions this month alone. According to the Russian MD, Ukraine has lost 604 military planes and 274 helicopters since the fighting began. 

According to Forbes, the 110th Mechanized Brigade suffered heavy losses during the battle for the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka and was ultimately forced to retreat in February 2024, “leaving behind potentially hundreds of casualties.” Like many other Ukrainian units, the brigade has been plagued with ammunition shortage prompted by the delays in Western supplies. 

Kiev has consistently asked its Western supporters for the US-made F-16 fighter planes, arguing that they are essential for gaining an upper hand on the battlefield. Belgium pledged on Tuesday to supply Ukraine with 30 F-16s until 2028. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned that no amount of foreign aid would change the outcome of the conflict. 

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