Russian Fighter Jet Shot Down by Ukraine Air Force in Dogfight

A Russian fighter jet was shot down by the Ukrainian air force in an aerial battle Friday afternoon, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"Today, May 27, at about 2 pm, a MiG-29 fighter of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian Su-35 fighter in the sky of Kherson region," the air force said in a statement. The Su-35, it added, was "hunting for Ukrainian assault aircraft."

"Glory to Ukrainian pilots! Death to the occupiers!" the statement proclaimed.

The dogfight is the latest blow to Russia's offensive in Ukraine, which has failed to defeat the Ukrainians' military resistance since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on February 24. The air war in particular has gone badly. "The Russian Air Force still shows no sign of running a campaign to gain air superiority," retired British Air Marshal Edward Stringer previously told Newsweek.

Last week, Su-35 fighter jets like the one shot down Friday bombed Ukrainian targets, destroying "military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the special military operation," according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

According to Russian forces, since February 24 they have destroyed 179 warplanes, 127 helicopters, 1,019 unmanned aerial vehicles, 323 air defense systems, 3,266 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, 433 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,682 artillery systems and 3,190 military vehicles. In addition, throughout the three-month conflict Russia has fired more missiles than any other country has done since World War II.

Russian Fighter Jet Ukraine
The Ukrainian air force said a Russian fighter jet was shot down over Ukraine's Kherson region on Friday. Above, Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets and MiG-29 fighter jets fly over downtown Moscow during a rehearsal for a Victory Day parade on May 4. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

On Friday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Russia has lost 29,750 troops, 1,322 tanks, 3,246 armored fighting vehicles, 623 artillery systems, 201 multiple launch rocket systems, 93 air defense systems, 206 warplanes, 170 helicopters, 503 unmanned aerial vehicles, 115 cruise missiles, 13 warships, 2,226 military vehicles and fuel tankers and 48 units of special equipment, all since the start of the invasion.

The war, which has not brought the swift and easy victory Putin anticipated, has also taken a toll on the Russian people and the economy because of severe sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other nations. Reportedly, growing numbers of people in Russia's elite have turned against the president and his war, and even governmental figures have begun criticizing him for refusing to pull out of Ukraine.

On Friday, Leonid Vasyukevich, a member of Russia's Communist Party who serves on a regional legislative assembly in the country's Far East, was escorted out of a high-level meeting with Putin after he called for withdrawal of Russian troops.

"We understand that if our country does not stop the military operation, there will be even more orphans in our country," Vasyukevich said. "During the military operation, young people who could bring great benefit to our country die and become disabled."

In response, some Russian officials declared Vasyukevich "a traitor."

Newsweek reached out to Russia's Defense Ministry for comment.