Russia has said that it has hit Ukrainian military positions and vehicles with its Su-25 fighter jets, as these images purport to show.
The footage reportedly shows a Russian warplane sporting the now infamous white ‘V’ symbol being prepared for takeoff at an airfield at an undisclosed location.
The ‘V’ is one of the symbols, as well as the letters ‘Z’ and ‘O’ that can be seen painted on Russian military vehicles taking part in the invasion of Ukraine.
The aircraft can be seen being loaded with ordnance before it taxis onto the runway and takes to the skies with at least one other plane.
It can then be seen flying low over countryside before unleashing its deadly ordnance on unseen targets.
The footage then shows at least one plane coming in to land.
The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday, 2nd December, along with a statement claiming: “Attack aviation crews carried out rocket air strikes on military facilities and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Missile launches were carried out in pairs from low altitudes.
“After the use of aviation weapons, the crews performed a manoeuvre, releasing heat traps, and returned to the departure airfield.
“As a result of combat use, camouflaged fortified field positions and armoured vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed.
“After the sorties, the engineering and technical staff completed the tasks of servicing aircraft and preparing aviation equipment for a second combat sortie.”
We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 281st day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 2nd December, Russia had lost about 90,090 personnel, 2,916 tanks, 5,883 armoured combat vehicles, 1,905 artillery units, 395 multiple launch rocket systems, 210 air defence systems, 280 warplanes, 262 helicopters, 1,564 drones, 531 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 4,464 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 163 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has said that Ukraine has lost between 10,000 and 13,000 soldiers so far against Russia.
US President Joe Biden has said he would be willing to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin – in consultation with NATO allies – if the latter would be willing to end the war.
President Biden, speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, said: “I’m prepared to speak with Mr Putin if in fact there is an interest in him deciding he’s looking for a way to end the war. He hasn’t done that yet.”
President Macron said that he would continue to talk to President Putin “try to prevent escalation and to get some very concrete results”.
Both the US and French presidents pledged to hold Russia accountable for its “widely documented atrocities and war crimes” in Ukraine.
President Biden pledged to continue supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression, which he said had been “incredibly brutal”.
The American and French leaders said in a joint statement: “Intentionally targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure constitutes war crimes whose perpetrators must be held accountable.”
Russia has hit the recently recaptured southern Ukrainian city of Kherson with missiles, causing disruptions to the city’s power supply just as electricity had begun to be restored some three weeks after Russian troops retreated from the city.
Vitaliy Klitschko, the Mayor of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, has told residents to stock up on food, water and warm clothes in case Russia causes a total blackout in the city.
Members of the European Union have agreed to place a USD 60 price cap per barrel on Russian seaborne oil.
An embargo on Russian crude is set to be enforced as of Monday, with the price cap understood to apply to oil exported by Russia to various ports around the world.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, has said it was too early to reach a verdict on discussions between Germany and Poland regarding supplying Ukraine with Patriot air defence systems.
Speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Stoltenberg said: “We all agree on the urgent need to help Ukraine, including with air defence systems.”