Ukraine says it shot down a Su-25 jet and captured its pilot in revenge for a weekend of shelling: reports

A Russian Su-25 warplane, with a Z on its tail fin, flies against a cloudy blue sky above Olenivka, Donetsk, Ukraine, on July 29, 2022
A Russian Su-25 warplane above Olenivka, Donetsk, Ukraine, on July 29, 2022.Alexander Ermochenko TPX via Reuters
  • Ukraine says it shot down a Russian Su-25 jet in Avdiivka, Donetsk on Sunday.

  • The frontline town is home to a strategic coke plant and was heavily bombed over the weekend.

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated the troops on the strike, according to reports.

Ukrainian forces took out a Russian Su-25 jet on Sunday, capturing its pilot, in what has been called "revenge" for airstrikes on a valuable industrial plant, according to multiple reports.

According to a post from Ukraine's 110th Mechanized Brigade, the jet was shot down near Avdiivka using a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS).

The brigade said that Russian forces were losing manpower and equipment in their attempts to advance near the site.

The frontline town of Avdiivka, which sits just north of the city of Donetsk, is home to one of Europe's largest coke plants, which has been an essential part of the country's steel industry.

After heavily shelling the plant earlier in the war, Russian forces have continually attempted to advance in its direction.

The US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War noted significant fighting in the area over the weekend.

The nearby town was bombarded, destroying a recently-rebuilt school, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the region's military chief, said on Saturday.

A collage. Left: A tower block in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, after shelling. Right, a building complex in Avdiivka after shelling. Rooves are caved in and windows blasted.
Buildings in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, after Russian shelling on February 25, 2023, per the region's military administrator.Pavlo Kyrylenko/Telegram

The plant itself was struck by a devastating Russian air raid on Sunday, injuring one employee, according to Musa Magodemov, the Donetsk Region's people's deputy.

Magodemov characterized the hit on the Su-25 as revenge, while celebrating the quick response.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also congratulated the 110th brigade in his nightly address, Ukrinform reported.

Also known as a "Frogfoot," the Su-25 originated as a heavy Soviet-era jet designed to provide close air support to ground forces. It's used by both Ukraine and Russia.

At least 16 Ukrainian Su-25s and 25 Russian ones have been destroyed or damaged since the start of the war, according to the weapons-tracking platform Oryx.

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