Ukraine ‘uses dummy models of warplanes’ to trick Russian forces


Ukraine’s air force has claimed it tricked Russian forces into hitting dummy versions of warplanes and air defence systems.

Air force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said mock-ups were put in place at an airfield near the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih and a district of the Black Sea port of Odesa.

He shared a video filmed by a Russian reconnaissance drone, which he said showed Russian Iskander missiles attacking the mock-ups.

Russia’s defence ministry had shared similar footage on Thursday on its Telegram channel and said it had used Iskender missiles to destroy a Ukrainian Mig-29 fighter jet at the Dovhyntseve airfield.

Mr Oleshchuk wrote: “Air force personnel conducted passive defence measures!

“Thank you to everyone who helped with the top-quality mock-ups of aircraft and SAM systems. The enemy now has fewer Iskander missiles and more mock-ups will be delivered.

“Of course, both we and the enemy have losses of equipment and people. But neither side is talking about it publicly. It is clear why!”

Ukraine rarely shares such information but the air force commander said he had made it public “as an exception, to show the public that not everything is straightforward”.

On Friday, Russian strikes left more than 100,000 households without power in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said infrastructure had been damaged in the attacks, and the strikes had also cut off water to the provincial capital by hitting power lines that feed its system of pumps.

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In the eastern Donetsk region, Russian shelling on Friday and overnight killed 11 civilians and injured 43, local governor Vadym Filashkin said.

Some of the deaths were reported in the town of Selydove and in Chasiv Yar, which has been reduced to rubble following a months-long Russian assault.

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