Day 736: Ukraine shoots down three Russian Su-34 jets in one day

Ukraine shoots down three Russian Su-34 jets in one day. Putin delivers an annual address to Russia’s parliament. Ukraine drives Russia out of the outskirts of Orlivka. Ukrainian troops in Avdiyivka direction get additional ammunition and resources, according to Ukraine’s army chief.

Ukraine shoots down three Russian Su-34 jets in one day

On Thursday, Ukraine’s armed forces have shot down two Russian Su-34 jets in the Avdiyivka and Mariupol directions, according to Ukrainian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk.

In a Telegram post on Thursday, Oleshchuk said: “It seems they don’t get it! Russian pilots do not draw any conclusions.”

He said Ukraine had taken out two Su-34 jets at about 9 a.m. local time. At 8 a.m. Oleshchuk said Ukrainian forces had downed another Russian Su-34 in the eastern direction, bringing the total number to three. On February 27, Ukrainian forces downed two Su-34 jets in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has claimed to have had success in downing Russian Su jets in the past week.

On February 17, Ukrainian forces destroyed two Russian Su-34s and one Su-35. They shot down one more Su-34 the next day.

On February 19, Ukraine shot down one Russian Su-34 and one Su-35S in eastern skies. According to Oleshchuk, the pilot of a Su-35S crashed in the sea and died. The second aircraft fell north of occupied Mariupol.

Ukraine drives Russia out of outskirts of Orlivka, troops in Avdiyivka direction get additional ammunition, resources, according to Ukraine’s army chief

The situation on the frontlines remains difficult as Russian forces continue to conduct offensive operations on multiple fronts, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

He said he began his frontline visit by meeting the troops of the Donetsk operational-tactical group that are holding defensive positions in the Avdiyivka direction.

“The success of a fight is determined by the quality of planning and by how well the commander’s plan is implemented by their subordinates. [The success] is also defined by experience and skillfulness of the commander-in-chief and commanders, their ability to correctly assess the situation and make adequate and timely decisions,” Syrskyi said.

Syrskyi said some commanders had revealed certain shortcomings in their “situational awareness and assessment of the enemy”, which directly affected the sustainability of defense in certain areas.

“I took all measures to remedy the situation on the ground, with the allocation of additional ammunition and material resources, as well as the necessary reserves,” Syrskyi said.

The situation is particularly tense in the Avdiyivka and Zaporizhzhia directions, where Russian assault units were trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses and capture the villages of Tonenke, Orlivka, Semenivka, Berdychi and Krasnohorivka, Syrskyi said. In Zaporizhzhia region, Russian forces are focusing on retaking Verbove and Robotyne, he added.

Syrskyi also commended bravery, resilience and heroism of the 3rd assault brigade and the 25th airborne brigade.

“They forced the enemy out of the outskirts of Orlivka with their brave and decisive actions,” Syrskyi said. 

Putin delivers annual address to Russia’s parliament

In his address, Putin mostly tackled domestic issues, but also made a few statements about Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

“There has been talk about the possibility of sending NATO military contingents to Ukraine. The consequences for possible interventionists will be tragic,” he said.

“We remember the fate of those who sent their troop contingents to the territory of our country,” the Russian leader said. “Now the consequences for the potential invaders will be far more tragic,” he added.

Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness, Putin said, adding that new weapons are used on the frontlines in Ukraine or will be soon sent there. “The Zircon hypersonic sea-based system has also already been used in battle. The tests of the Burevestnik unlimited-range cruise missile and the unmanned underwater vehicle Poseidon are being finalized,” Putin said.

What Ukraine needs for this to be the last year of the war. Ukraine in Flames #579

In the full-scale war with Russia, Ukraine is critically dependent on international aid – without external funding, Ukraine would have had a financial collapse and would have been defeated. It is clear that Ukrainians are sincerely grateful to everyone who provides this aid and helps Ukraine stand against the Russian Federation. But recently the significant reduction of financial and military aid to Kyiv started concerning an increasing number of Ukrainians, since the survival of the country during the third year of full-scale war with Russia really depends on it. Watch Ukraine in flames #579 to hear three Ukrainian Members of Parliament talk about what the international community should provide for Ukraine, ensuring that the third year of war is its final one.


Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Chair of the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration with the European Union

Oleksandr Merezhko, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation

Inna Sovsun, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Member of the Committee on Energy, Housing and Utilities Services