/ Go to the mediabankRussian Air Force Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet taking off from an airfield. File photo. / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – A Russian Su-34 frontline bomber has struck at the deployment point of foreign mercenaries in the Kharkov region with guided bombs, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson told Sputnik. “The crew of a Su-34 fighter-bomber, using universal modules for planning and correcting aerial bombs, struck at a temporary deployment point of foreign mercenaries near the village of Ivanovka [Ivanivka],” the spokesperson said. In addition, in the Kupyansk direction, Russia forces have located and destroyed two Ukrainian sabotage reconnaissance groups and have thwarted three attempts of enemy troop rotation, the spokesperson said.The spokesperson also told Sputnik that a combat vehicle of the Osa anti-aircraft missile system was destroyed using the Lancet precision loitering munition near the village of Velykyi Burluk. An Akatsiya self-propelled howitzer used by Ukrainian troops was also destroyed by Russian forces.Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, after the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.On September 30, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, signed agreements on the accession of these territories to Russia, following referendums that showed that an overwhelming majority of the local population supported becoming part of Russia.Western countries have significantly increased their economic and military support for Kiev, which now includes air defense and multiple rocket launching systems, tanks, self-propelled artillery, anti-aircraft guns, armored vehicles and various types of ammunition. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in January that arms supplies to Ukraine by Western countries testify to their direct and growing involvement in the conflict.