Ukraine ‘downs fourth Su-34 fighter jet in three days’ and strikes Russian-held Horlivka triggering huge inferno

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Written By Maya Cantina
  •  The latest £40 million twin-seat Su-34 was downed towards Mariupol

Ukraine claims to have shot down another Su-34 bomber – the fourth in three days – in a significant blow to Vladimir Putin’s war effort.

It came as shelling by Kyiv forces triggered a major inferno in Russian-occupied mining stronghold Horlivka, destroying the main shopping centre.

The latest £40 million twin-seat Su-34 was downed towards Mariupol and was announced by the commander of the Ukrainian air force Lt-Gen Mykola Oleschuk.

‘It has been confirmed that our anti-aircraft missile system hit the Su-34 fighter-bomber in the direction of Mariupol,’ he said.

‘He did not return to the airport.’

The latest £40 million twin-seat Su-34 was downed towards Mariupol and was announced by the commander of the Ukrainian air force Lt-Gen Mykola Oleschuk (File Photo)

It came as shelling by Kyiv forces triggered a major inferno in Russian-occupied mining stronghold Horlivka, destroying the main shopping centre

It came as shelling by Kyiv forces triggered a major inferno in Russian-occupied mining stronghold Horlivka, destroying the main shopping centre 

Videos show the burning shopping centre in Horlivka, a city twinned with Barnsley in South Yorkshire

Videos show the burning shopping centre in Horlivka, a city twinned with Barnsley in South Yorkshire

Ukraine is also checking evidence that it downed an Su-30 fighter towards Odesa over the Black Sea.

The blows defy gloom about Ukraine’s war progress amid signs of a slowing of Western supplies.

Air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat has claimed that Russia has been forced to reduce its combing strikes due to the loss of Su-34s.

On December 22, Ukraine revealed the downing of three Su-34s, believed to have been hit by Patriot missile strikes.

Russian aviation expert Alexey Zakharov called the losses a ‘cruel’ reality of war.

Ukraine staged a fierce attack on Horlivka striking a ‘warehouse’ believed to be used by the Russian military at the city’s main shopping centre, Galaktika.

Russian Su-34 bomber (File Photo). 'It has been confirmed that our anti-aircraft missile system hit the Su-34 fighter-bomber in the direction of Mariupol,' Oleschuk said

Russian Su-34 bomber (File Photo). ‘It has been confirmed that our anti-aircraft missile system hit the Su-34 fighter-bomber in the direction of Mariupol,’ Oleschuk said

One woman was killed and six were wounded in the rocket attacks on the city in Donetsk region, according to Russian sources.

Videos show the burning shopping centre in Horlivka, a city twinned with Barnsley in South Yorkshire.

Russia claimed to have downed three Su-27 fighter aircraft and one Su-24 tactical bomber – all Ukrainian – but there was no confirmation of the claim.

Separately, images have emerged of damage caused by a Ukrainian HIMARS strike on a fuel train in Ilovaisk.

At least six 55-tonne tanker wagons were destroyed in the strike on a train supplying the Russian military machine in occupied Donetsk region.

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