Kyiv announces the destruction of 278 Russian fighters… and exchanges prisoners with Moscow

He said General Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian ArmyToday, Thursday, Ukrainian forces destroyed 278 Russian warplanes during eight months of fighting, explaining that this is more than twice the number of warplanes lost by the Soviet Union in its military intervention in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on these comments, but they are in line with an increasingly confident rhetoric from Kyiv, which has made progress in reclaiming some territory from the Russians.

Although civilians face occasional blackouts and water supplies from Russian missile and drone attacks on energy infrastructure, the momentum on the battlefield is in Kyiv’s favour.

Ukraine is now putting increasing pressure on the Russian forces in the south thanks to the military equipment supplied by its Western allies, including the US-made HIMARS missile system.

Ukrainian soldiers in Dombas

Ukrainian soldiers in Dombas

General Zaloghny wrote on Twitter: “During the all-out aggression, the Ukrainian defenses destroyed more than twice as many russian planes The Soviet Union lost during the ten-year war in Afghanistan, 278 Russian aircraft in Ukraine compared to 118 Soviet aircraft in Afghanistan.

He added, “This war is the same shame for Russia, and it will cause its destruction.”

More than three decades after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, that military campaign still haunts the Russian national conscience and has been criticized by many Russians as a bloody foreign adventure similar to the American war in Vietnam.

About 14,000 Soviet soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Many of them were repatriated in zinc-lined coffins known as Cargo 200 (Cargo 200), a term now widely used to refer to Russian soldiers killed during the current war in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the war, each side says that it inflicted a huge number of dead and wounded on the other, but these numbers are seen as greatly exaggerated.

Ukraine says 74,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, while Russia’s defense minister said in September that 61,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed.

Russia and Ukraine exchange 214 prisoners

On the other hand, Russia and Ukraine exchanged, on Thursday, 214 captured soldiers in the latest series of prisoner exchanges. Many of the released Ukrainians survived a failed attempt to defend the city of Mariupol last April and May.

Soldiers of the Azov Battalion who surrendered in Mariupol

Soldiers of the Azov Battalion who surrendered in Mariupol

The Russian Defense Ministry said today in a statement that Ukraine has released 107 Russian soldiers, and they will be transferred to Moscow to receive “the necessary medical and psychological assistance.”

For his part, Andrei Yermak, director of the Ukrainian president’s office, said that Russia had released 107 Ukrainian fighters, including 74 who defended the Azovstal steel plant, which was Ukraine’s last stronghold in Mariupol.

Yermak added: “We were able to exchange seriously wounded and bedridden fighters from Mariupol, Azovstal boys, with shrapnel in the arms and legs, and gunshot wounds in different parts of the body. Others have infected wounds as a result of microbial infection.”

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