Russia has said that its Su-34 fighter-bombers are continuing to perform operations around the clock in Ukraine.
The footage apparently shows Russian warplanes being fitted with ordnance. One can be seen sporting the now infamous ‘Z’ symbol on its cockpit, with two pilots walking over to it, also sporting ‘Z’ symbol arm patches.
One of them can be seen entering the aircraft by a ladder below the cockpit.
The ‘Z’ is one of the symbols, as well as the letters ‘V’ and ‘O’ that can be seen painted on Russian military vehicles taking part in the invasion of Ukraine.
The images apparently show the fighter-bomber aircraft taking to the skies from an undisclosed location and flying over countryside before the aircraft is seen flying above the clouds.
The footage then cuts to it apparently coming back in to land at the base.
The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday, 2nd November, along with a statement claiming: ” The crews of the Su-34 Russian Aerospace Forces continue to perform tasks in the zone of the special military operation.
“The crews of the Su-34 fighter-bombers are on combat duty around the clock at home airfields and perform the tasks of air patrol and cover the actions of units of the Armed Forces of Russia and allied forces.”
The Russian MoD statement also quoted a navigator of one of the Su-34 crews, named only as Aidar, as saying: “They performed combat missions to cover allied forces and suppress enemy air defence systems in the area of the line of contact. Task completed successfully. We are on combat duty around the clock, ready to perform tasks at any time and in any weather conditions.”
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 252nd day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 2nd November, Russia had lost about 73,270 personnel, 2,714 tanks, 5,525 armoured combat vehicles, 1,733 artillery units, 387 multiple launch rocket systems, 198 air defence systems, 277 warplanes, 258 helicopters, 1,438 drones, 397 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 4,153 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 154 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukrainian military intelligence said on Tuesday that Iran is planning to send over 200 combat drones to Russian forces sometime in early November, including a new model, the Arash-2.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko is making preparations to open approximately 1,000 public heating points to city residents.
This comes after Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, met with Kadri Simson, the European Union Commissioner for Energy, and said that Russian missile and drone strikes have “seriously damaged” about 40 per cent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Ukraine has been forced to cease electricity exports to Europe as a result.
Zelensky said that a long-term defence plan is required for Ukraine’s grain export corridor and that any attempt by Russia to disrupt it must be met with a firm response, after Moscow pulled out of the UN-brokered deal.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has said that the Russian authorities in the occupied part of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine have moved their administration further south to Skadovsk, a port city on the Black Sea, ahead of an anticipated push south by Ukrainian forces to retake the city of Kherson.
Civilians in an area along the eastern bank of the Dnieper River were reportedly told to leave by Russian officials on Tuesday. This represents a significant extension of an evacuation order for the area that Ukraine says is a forced depopulation of the occupied territory.
The Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom has said that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Russian Wagner Group private military company stated on 23rd October that Wagner forces were “making advances of 100-200m per day”.
Prigozhin reportedly claimed this was “normal in modern warfare”.
But the UK MoD said Russian forces “plan to advance 30km or more per day in most conditions”, adding: “In February, Russian forces planned to make a 1000km advance through Ukraine within a month. In September, Ukrainian forces achieved advances of over 20km per day.
“In the last two months, Prigozhin has abandoned any pretence that he is not associated with Wagner and has been more explicit in his public statements. He is likely trying to burnish his credibility within the stressed Russian national security system.”