Espreso. Global

Downed SU-34s and attack on FSB units in temporarily occupied Crimea: weekly review of explosions observed by Russians

25 December, 2023 Monday

This week, the Ukrainian army has destroyed four Russian SU-34s firing at Ukraine, while in the temporarily occupied Crimea, UAVs attacked  FSB units

Read more about explosions in Russia and the temporarily occupied territories in Espreso's weekly review.

Destroyed SU-34s, an attack on the temporarily occupied Crimea, and a fire at the oil storage facility in Ilovaisk

  • On Wednesday, December 20, explosions were heard in the temporarily occupied Crimea on the territory of FSB and Russian Air Force military units. According to the Crimean Wind TV channel, the first attack took place in Alushta around 4:00 a.m. At least 3 explosions were recorded on the FSB military unit 28735, which, according to open sources, is located in the village of Soniachnohirske. "Preliminary, a UAV was used in the attack. One FSB officer was wounded, and a satellite communication antenna was damaged," the publication says.
  • In the evening of December 20, a place where Russians stored ammunition and equipment was hit in the temporarily occupied Mariupol, Donetsk region. There were also wounded militants. According to preliminary information, the attack took place on the territory of the former Khladokombinat. The Russian troops stored ammunition and military equipment there. At the same time, at least 10 soldiers were wounded in the incident and taken to hospital in serious condition.
  • On December 23, the Ukrainian Armed Forces downed three Russian Su-34s in southern Ukraine. The loss of the aircraft was confirmed by the pro-Russian Fighterbomber channel. It reports that the pilots were picked up by a search and rescue team: "They took them all. The living and the dead". Footage of the ejected pilots landing, allegedly from the landing site, was posted online. The publication notes that the fighters were dropping guided bombs on Ukrainian positions. These bombs can fly up to 50 kilometers when launched from a high altitude. Military analyst Yan Matveev told the Defense Ministry that the Su-34s were most likely shot down by a US Patriot air defense system that was deployed closer to the front, in the Kherson region.
  • On Saturday, December 23, in the temporarily occupied Ilovaisk, Donetsk region, a Russian invaders' oil storage facility was on fire. Black smoke was rising into the sky. According to Andriushchenko, advisor to the Mariupol mayor, the Russian fuel and lubricants warehouse was on fire. Later Petro Andriushchenko said that the Russian oil storage facility was on fire.

 Photo: Denis Kazanskiy

  • On the evening of December 24, Russian attack, Ukrainian servicemen destroyed a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber in the Mariupol sector. Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk reported. "In the Odesa sector, there was a combat operation against a Russian Su-30 in the Black Sea - we are studying the materials of objective control to know for sure whether the target was hit or not," the statement says. It is noted the Air Force can now confirm the defeat of the Su-34 fighter in the Mariupol sector.

Drone attack on Moscow and the Carpet plan at Kaluga airport

  • A drone attack was allegedly repelled in the Odintsovo urban district of the Moscow region. Three airports in the Russian capital were closed for the period of air defense. Sergei Sobyanin announced this. He noted that air defense forces in the Odintsovo urban district beat back a drone attack. According to preliminary data, there is no damage or casualties at the crash site. "This is a stable situation when air raid warning signals are heard in Russia. This is good news. As they say, fight fire with fire. We need more Ukrainian drones to target Moscow or Russian airfields, critical infrastructure and energy facilities. It is effective and it works. They won't shoot down all the drones," commented Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force.
  • On Friday, December 22, Russia's Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of allegedly carrying out massive UAV attacks. Because of this, the Kaluga airport introduced the Carpet (Kover) plan. "The Carpet plan was announced at the Kaluga airport in connection with the appearance of drones in the sky over the region, departures and arrivals were delayed," the statement said. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense reports that four drones were allegedly destroyed in the Kaluga region.

Expert opinions

Ivan Stupak, a military expert and SBU officer in 2004-2015, is convinced that Ukrainian defenders will soon eliminate at least one more Russian Su-34 fighter jet.

"I'm sure that this destruction of three, not one, not two, but three Su-34s are two-seat bombers. By the way, just in November, the Russians boasted that "our boys have received a new batch of Su-34s." It is very likely that it was the new batch that was destroyed by Ukrainian Patriot in the south of Kherson region," the military expert said.

Stupak emphasized that the fighter jets' destruction had a psychological impact on the Russian forces and their military commanders, saying that their army was being bombed and that they would be punished for it.

Serhiy Zgurets, director of Defense Express, an information and consulting company, said that naval drones forced the Russian army to hide its ships and allowed the transportation of Ukrainian cargo.

" In fact, we are talking about the fact that we have a technological solution that allows us to asymmetrically influence Russia. We have several lines of these robotic maritime drones (the first was MAGURA V5), but we thought they were only strike drones, meaning they could operate at a distance of 600-800 kilometers with a warhead of 320 kg. However, The New York Times, in discussions with our military developers, reported that there are already drones suitable for mining, for bringing mines to areas where Russian warships can move, and for reconnaissance," the expert emphasized.

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