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Ukrainian fighter jet pilots seem to be holding their own in the conflict with Russia - even though they are outnumbered five to one.

Almost a month into the conflict, one of the most shocking things about the war in Ukraine is Russia's inability to defeat the Ukrainian Air Force.

Military analysts believed that Russian forces would have quickly demolished or paralyzed Ukraine's air defences and military craft in some way, but that hasn't occurred.

A lot of this is thanks to the skills and determination of the Ukrainian fighter pilots.

The New York Times was given a chance to speak with Ukrainian pilots in an undisclosed airbase to provide a space for the courageous soldiers to tell their stories.

Andriy, whose rank and surname have been made anonymous, gave the outlet some perspective into the frightening moments of the conflict that has captured the attention of many worldwide.

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He spoke on not being informed of his mission until he was already up in the air in his Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet.

"Every time when I fly, it's for a real fight. "In every fight with Russian jets, there is no equality. They always have five times more [planes]."

Andriy also told the outlet that he relies on instruments to decipher the positions of enemy planes.

He has even shot down Russian jets but wasn't allowed to say how many or the type of jets.

"I mostly have tasks of hitting airborne targets, of intercepting enemy jets. I wait for the missile to lock on my target. After that, I press fire."

Andriy also described the feeling of shooting a Russian aircraft and said, in part: "I am happy that this plane will no longer bomb my peaceful towns."

The pilot, who had wanted to get into this field since childhood, graduated from the Kharkiv Air Force School and said that neither he nor his friends imagined that they would be in th predicament they are in now.

Elsewhere, Andriy told the outlet that he was able to relocate his wife to a secure part of Ukraine. He only calls her after he has returned safely from a flight, never before.

"I only have to use my skills to win. My skills are better than the Russians. But on the other hand, many of my friends, and even those more experienced than me, are already dead."

Read the full New York Times report here.

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