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Friday, March 31, 2023

Ukraine mocks Russian planes disappearing in ‘Bakhmut Triangle’

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry mocked Russian forces via Twitter on Wednesday after reports a Soviet-era bomber was shot down from the sky near Bakhmut.

Iryna Rybakova, press secretary of Ukraine’s 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade, told Ukrainian broadcaster Hromadske that Kiev’s forces shot down a Russian Su-24 supersonic bomber near Bakhmut. In a video of the incident shared on Telegram by Andriy Yermak, head of the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Russian bomber is shown engulfed in flames and smoke. Yermak’s video also shows the plane’s pilot being thrown out of the wreckage.

On Twitter, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Posted own video of the incident, capturing the moment the Russian plane disappeared from air traffic control near the south-east corner of Bakhmut.

“The most mysterious place in Ukraine is the Bakhmut Triangle, where Russian planes have been disappearing for a year…” the ministry wrote.

According to weapons tracking site Oryx, Russia has lost a total of 352 aircraft since the start of its invasion of Ukraine, including all planes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles destroyed, damaged or captured in the war.

Reports of the downing of the Su-24 on Wednesday have not been independently confirmed. news week emailed the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

Bakhmut fought some of the bloodiest battles in the Russia-Ukraine War. The industrial city in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region has been on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s radar for months, and Moscow officials claim that capturing Bakhmut would give them a direct route to other major cities.

Both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the battle, including when Ukrainian officials claimed on Monday their forces had killed 710 Russian servicemen in the previous 24 hours. Russia claimed on Sunday that 220 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a single day of fighting in the Donetsk region.

A Ukrainian soldier described the fighting in Bakhmut as “sent to death” in an interview. The Kiev Independent published Wednesday. According to 54-year-old Volodymyr, whose last name is being kept secret for his safety, Kiev’s forces were at times ill-equipped to return fire to Russian shelling and artillery attacks.

However, Zelenskyy reiterated on Tuesday that the Ukrainian military’s “main focus” is on Bakhmut.

The battle for Bakhmut appears to be drawing to a close, including reports from Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, who said his mercenaries captured a small Ukrainian village northwest of the city on Wednesday. Russian news agencies also claim that hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were trapped in tunnels in Bakhmut during Wednesday’s fighting, although the reports could not be independently verified news week.

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