Russia may have lost four combat jets in Ukraine in last 10 days

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Sept 19 (Reuters) – Russia has highly likely lost at least four combat jets in Ukraine within the last 10 days, taking its attrition to about 55 since the beginning of its invasion, the British military said on Monday.

There is a realistic possibility that the uptick in losses was partially a result of the Russian Air Force accepting greater risk in a move to provide close air support to Russian ground forces under pressure from Ukrainian advances, the Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence on Twitter.

Russian pilots’ situational awareness is often poor, it said. “There is a realistic possibility that some aircraft have strayed over enemy territory and into denser air defence zones as the front lines have moved rapidly.”

In Other Developments:

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed there would be no let up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia after the top U.S. general warned it was unclear how Moscow would react to its battlefield setbacks in Ukraine.

FIGHTING

* A top U.S. general visited a military base in Poland hosting U.S. troops. U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for vigilance saying the war was “not going too well for Russia right now”.

* Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in a move to undermine the morale of the Ukrainian government and people, the British military said on Sunday.

* The Russian army, seeking contract soldiers for what it calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine, is using mobile recruiting trucks to attract volunteers, offering nearly $3,000 a month as an incentive.

* The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the areas of the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in south where Ukraine launched counter-offensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the southeast.

* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

KHARKIV REGION

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday investigators had discovered new evidence of torture used against some soldiers buried near Izium, one of more than 20 towns that were retaken in the northeastern Kharkiv region after a lightning advance by Ukraine’s forces earlier this month.

* The Kremlin has not commented publicly on the discovery of graves at Izium. Moscow regularly denies committing atrocities in the war or deliberately attacking civilians.

* Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday that mass graves found in Ukraine were evidence of Russia’s war crimes and that full accountability for its actions was needed.

* ‘Like Chornobyl’: Ukrainians have begun returning to their battle-scarred home towns in Kharkiv.

DIPLOMACY

* U.S. President Joe Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin not to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons in the wake of setbacks in Ukraine in a clip released by CBS on Sunday.

* Australia will not ban Russian tourists from entering the country as part of sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, Defence Minister Richard Marles said on Sunday.

* Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a global food crisis aggravated by the war will be the focus of world leaders when they convene for the United Nations General Assembly this week.

A POP QUEEN’S MESSAGE

* Alla Pugacheva, the queen of Soviet pop music, denounced Putin’s war in Ukraine, which she said was killing soldiers for illusory aims, burdening ordinary people and turning Russia into a global pariah.

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