These massive losses prevented Russia from establishing dominance over Ukraine’s airspace in the early days of the war and stopped Russian fighter planes and bombers from playing a major role in the conflict, Gen. James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, said, as cited by the Politico news service.
The shootdown deprived Russian ground forces of the kind of air support they would need to take and hold territory in Ukraine, Hecker told reporters on Monday, according to the politico.com website.
He also said that Ukraine retained about 80 percent of its air force seven months into the war, Politico reported.
Tuesday is day 209 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, politico.com