Ukraine shoot down Russian fighter jet in Kharkiv counter-attack

Ukrainian soldiers shoot down Russian jet

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Footage taken during fighting at the frontline of Ukraine’s Kharkiv counter-offensive appears to capture the moment a Russian fighter jet is shot down. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have launched a surprise offensive around the northeastern city in a bid to divert Russian forces away from Kyiv’s ongoing counter-attack in the southern region of Kherson. 

Footage appears to show the moment Ukrainian soldiers took down the Russian Su-25 with a surface-to-air missile.

As the Russian plane flew in low and fast across an open field a loud bang can be heard followed by plumes of smoke.

An onlooking squad of Ukrainian fighters can be heard celebrating the successful downing from their position hidden in a tree line.

Russian military Telegram channels are reported to have confirmed the loss of an aircraft but suggested the pilot had survived. 

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The adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff said he expected Kyiv to announce “great news” about its counteroffensive in the eastern Kharkiv region on Tuesday evening, without giving further details.

Kharkiv region, in northeast Ukraine, is on the far end of the front line from the southern Kherson region, which Ukraine last week announced as the focus of a push to retake territory.

“Tonight there is going to be great news from President Zelenskiy on (the) counteroffensive operation in Kharkiv region,” Serhiy Leshchenko said on Twitter.

Several posts social media from military bloggers and witnesses reported fighting around Balakliia, a town of 27,000 people that lies between the cities of Kharkiv and Izyum.

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Gaining control of Balakliia could facilitate a Ukrainian attempt to encircle or partially encircle Izyum, said Kyiv-based military analyst Oleh Zhdanov.

Little information has emerged about progress of the main Ukrainian offensive in the southern Kherson region, with Kyiv barring journalists from the front line and releasing only limited reports to preserve the element of surprise.

Russia says it has repelled the Kherson assault, but Ukraine has reported steady success, including releasing pictures on Sunday of troops hoisting a flag over a rooftop in a newly captured town.

Western military experts say Ukraine’s aim in the south appears to be to trap thousands of Russian troops on the west bank of the wide Dnipro River and cut them off by destroying their rear supply lines.

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The announcement of a simultaneous Ukrainian advance near Kharkiv was an indication that Russian forces were now having difficulties reinforcing along the huge length of the front, said Mark Hertling, a retired former U.S. commander of ground forces in Europe.

“This confirms RU inability to maneuver forces between theater locations & within their force’s defensive ‘stance’ to counter Ukrainian offensive actions,” Hertling tweeted. “RU is nursing wounds, bearing loss of combat capabilities (people & equipment), have bad leaders.”

There have also been increasing attacks by Ukrainians in Russian-occupied areas against Moscow-installed authorities.

On Tuesday, the Russian-installed commandant of Berdiansk, a port in the south, was badly injured when his car was blown up outside the city administration building, pro-Russian local officials said, blaming Kyiv for the attack on Artyom Bardin.

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