As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has progressed, a slew of videos has emerged on social media platforms like Telegram showing the destruction caused by both Russian and Ukrainian strikes on military bases, armored vehicles, and more.
While much of the video footage shared online is somewhat recent and shows the increasingly destructive conflict in the eastern Donbas region, some older clips have come to light showing destroyed aircraft, weapons, and vehicles from earlier in the conflict.
One video shared by military researcher Blue Sauron appears to show a Ukrainian Su-24M attack aircraft that appears to have crashed in the early stages of the war.
Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular Twitter account that tracks the use and destruction of weapons in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, claimed that the video likely shows the downed plane in Poltava Oblast.
“#Ukraine: Previously undocumented loss of the Ukrainian Air Force – a Su-24M attack aircraft which crash-landed in the earlier stages of war, presumably in Poltava Oblast. Both pilots survived,” the account writes.
What is the Su-24M?
The Su-24m is one of the most powerful long-range, low-level military aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. The plane is often compared to the U.S. General Dynamics F-111 plane, as well as the European Tornado.
The Soviet fighter aircraft features a 2x 2 × Saturn/Lyulka AL-21F-3A turbojets jet engine and has a maximum cruise speed of 1,315 km/h (710 knots). It also has a range of 2,778 kilometers and despite being replaced by more modern planes is considered one of the best fighter jets ever developed by Russia.
#Ukraine: Previously undocumented loss of the Ukrainian Air Force – a Su-24M attack aircraft which crash landed in the earlier stages of war, presumably in Poltava Oblast. Both pilots survived. pic.twitter.com/oyfELXDxRb
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 23, 2022
More modern variations of the plane include the Su-34 and Su-35S.
A Highly Effective Aircraft
A crashed Su-24M is by no means an indication that this aircraft is unreliable or ineffective in war. The aircraft has been successfully used by the Ukrainian Air Force to launch a number of successful air attacks on enemy positions, destroying Russian military equipment and task forces.
On June 3, the Ukrainian Air Force destroyed over 20 Russian armored personnel vehicles using air defense units.
The Air. Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Facebook how Ukrainian assault aircraft destroyed the vehicles.
“June 3, the assault aircraft of the Air Force destroyed more than 20 armored personnel vehicles, the fortified positions of the occupiers in various directions, enemy manpower,” the post reads.
More than 1,000 airstrikes have been launched by both Su-25 and Su-24M aircraft since the beginning of the war.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.