Ukrainian Luftwaffe in the 2022 campaign

Ukrainian Luftwaffe in the 2022 campaign

Actions of Ukrainian aviation in the 2022 campaign

On April 1, 2022, the Kremlin, through the press secretary of the Russian President, said:

"Air superiority during the operation is an absolute fact."

By the beginning of May, according to official data from the Russian Ministry of Defense, more than 150 Ukrainian aircraft and 112 helicopters were destroyed. That is, almost the entire available fleet of combat vehicles. However, these statements did not reflect the real state of affairs and created a misleading impression: they say, the Ukrainian aviation and the air defense system are almost completely destroyed and will be finished off in the coming days.

In fact, Ukrainian aviation, having indeed suffered very heavy losses in the initial phase of the air strike, still retained about a hundred combat aircraft and approximately the same number of helicopters in service. Taking advantage of the lull in connection with “gestures of goodwill” and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kyiv, the enemy began to actively restore the operation of the airfield network, removed fighters, bombers and attack aircraft from storage, and replenished the greatly depleted ranks of the flight personnel.

Thus, the enemy managed to put into operation brightly painted MiG-29 fighters that had been in storage for a long time, previously belonging to the Ukrainian Falcons aerobatic team. Their repair became possible after the delivery of spare parts from Poland, where this fighter was in service with the Air Force for a long time. Due to the removal of the Su-24 from storage and the reliable shelters of its base in Starokonstantinov, the 7th Tactical Aviation Brigade almost completely restored its combat capability.

This Su-24MR was shot down on October 12, 2022 in the Poltava region. The pilot, Major Dmitry Bortnikov, died, the navigator ejected.

Other Ukrainian airfields, which in the official reports of the Russian Ministry of Defense had long been listed as destroyed in the first days of the Northern Military District, also continued to function. Ukrainian fighters, attack aircraft and helicopters returned to the airfield in Mirgorod (Poltava region). Airfields continued to operate in Odessa, Dolgintsevo (Dnepropetrovsk region) and Vasilkov (Kiev region). Large-scale work began on the construction of shelters for aircraft parking at the Kanatovo airfield (Kirovograd region), where, with the beginning of the Northern Military District, Su-25 attack aircraft, some Su-27 fighters and Su-24 bombers took refuge. The restoration of the Martynovka airfield in the Nikolaev region, which has powerful hangars, began, where part of the MiG-29, Su-25 and Su-27 were relocated, carrying out combat missions in a southern direction.

The Russian side continued to periodically strike enemy airfields. But several Caliber cruise missiles were clearly not enough to ensure their failure. For example, in Odessa, next to the Shkolny residential area, there is an airfield: a runway 2800 meters long, an air terminal building and a cemetery for MiG-25, MiG-21, MiG-23 and Su-27 aircraft. In April 2022, it was struck, resulting in damage to the runway, hangars with NATO weapons and an aircraft repair plant. However, the enemy managed to quickly repair the damage and use the Shkolny to launch Turkish Bayraktar UAVs.

The Ukrainian air defense system has also resumed its operation, the mobile systems of which have switched to ambush operations. An unpleasant surprise for the Russian side was that in the spring of 2022, the “Western partners” included Ukraine in the NATO information network, which sharply increased the situational awareness of the Ukrainian military of all branches of the military, including air defense. All this forced the Russian Aerospace Forces to stop flying over the Bandera-controlled territory of Ukraine and concentrate their efforts exclusively in the front line, and therefore Russian aviation practically stopped suffering losses.

Having been hit hard in the teeth in an open battle with the Russian Aerospace Forces in the initial phase of the Northern Military District, Ukrainian aviation was also forced to change tactics. Suicidal attacks on Russian military convoys and attempts to compete with Russian fighters in the struggle for air supremacy have almost stopped. Now Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft and combat helicopters approached the front line at an ultra-low altitude, opened fire on NURS from a pitching position towards Russian positions and immediately went back so as not to be shot down by Russian air defense or Su-35 fighters. The effectiveness of such attacks was extremely low, but it made it possible to reduce losses by an order of magnitude and increase the number of sorties for Ukr-fascist pilots. The record holder in this regard was Lieutenant Colonel Rostislav Lazarenko from the 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade, who, according to Ukrainian data, during the two years of war in 2022-2023. he flew almost 25 combat missions on his Su-400 attack aircraft.

Ukrainian fighter aviation, which, under the cover of air defense, began to feel quite at ease in its rear, moved on to hunting Russian cruise missiles and drones-kamikaze “Geranium” (received the ironic nickname “shahid mopeds” for the characteristic sound of the engine), and also, to the best of its ability, covered the combat sorties of its attack aircraft and bombers in the front line.

In addition, the enemy used the surviving combat aircraft to carry out targeted strikes on the territory of “old” Russia. The targets were chosen in such a way that their defeat would cause not only military damage to the Russian side, but also major reputational damage. For example, when on April 1, 2022, the Kremlin officially announced that it had achieved “air superiority,” a pair of Ukrainian Mi-24 combat helicopters successfully crossed the border and launched a missile attack on an oil depot in Belgorod.

The largest operations in which the Ukrainian Luftwaffe were involved in the spring and summer of 2022 were attempts to rescue the leadership of the Azov National Guard regiment banned in Russia from encirclement in Mariupol and participation in the battles for Snake Island.

After the start of the SVO, Ukrainian helicopters periodically made risky flights to Mariupol, besieged by Russian troops, flying at ultra-low altitude and using NATO equipment for night flights. But since the end of March, Russian troops drove the Ukrainian Nazis of the Azov regiment banned in Russia and the Marines of the 36th brigade into the basements of the Azovstal plant. The encirclement ring thickened, and with it the Russian air defense system. As a result, the Ukrainian side suffered heavy losses: according to Russian data, from March 28 to April 5, at least five Mi-8 helicopters were shot down. Later, Ukrainian President Zelensky admitted that they were never able to organize an “air bridge” to Mariupol:

“A very large number of people died - our pilots... Why? Because there were no air corridors to Azovstal due to their powerful air defense.”

On May 16, the enemy was forced to throw out a white flag...

From the beginning of May 2022, the Ukrainian Armed Forces began a combined operation with the goal of recapturing Zmeiny Island, liberated by Russian forces at the very beginning of the Northern Military District. By doing so, the enemy hoped to unblock the ports of Odessa and Izmail, where stocks of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural crops intended for sale to the West were stuck, and at the same time ruin the May 9 holiday for Russia. Therefore, large forces by Ukrainian standards were involved in the operation: Su-27 fighters, Su-24 bombers, Air Force and Navy helicopters, Turkish Bayraktar UAVs, surviving naval boats, special forces and marines.

Since the beginning of May, the Bayraktars began to strike daily on the island and nearby Russian ships, trying to block the small garrison and destroy the air defense system located on Zmeiny. After this, on the night of May 8, the Ukrainian military began an operation to capture the island by helicopter and amphibious assault. Su-24 bombers, under the cover of Su-27 fighters, attacked Zmeinoye, hitting an ammunition depot and the border outpost building. But the Russian garrison held out, after which the Ukrainian operation completely failed.

The data available today allows us to confidently speak, at a minimum, about damage during the operation to the Ukrainian Su-27 fighter and the destruction of the Mi-14PS Navy helicopter leading search and rescue operations, which was shot down by a Russian Su-30 fighter and crashed in the Odessa region. Five crew members died on board, among whom was the deputy commander of the Navy for aviation, ex-commander of the 5th naval aviation brigade, Colonel Igor Bedzai. According to official data from the Russian Ministry of Defense, in the battle for the island between May 10 and 5, a Su-8 fighter and three Su-27 bombers, 24 helicopters, 10 unmanned aerial vehicles and three boats were destroyed.

The next reliably confirmed enemy loss near Zmeiny Island occurred on June 26, when a Ukrainian Su-24 bomber was shot down and its crew was killed: 61-year-old Colonel Mikhail Matyushenko (call sign “Grandfather”) and Major Yuri Krasilnikov. Matyushenko was one of those retired nationalists who returned to duty after the start of the Northern Military District. Initially, “Grandfather” fought in the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade on the MiG-29 fighter and the L-39 combat trainer. And at the beginning of May he transferred to the 7th Brigade, which had suffered heavy losses, where he began to master the Su-24. The flight on June 26 turned out to be his last. The Su-24 navigator, Major Yuri Krasilnikov, went missing, and the corpse of Matyushenko with a parachute, with his legs torn off during ejection and his face eaten by fish, drifted into the sea for almost 400 km and three months later was thrown onto the Bulgarian coast. His identity could only be confirmed by DNA analysis.

Having failed in the May assault, the enemy began regular shelling of Zmeinoye. Ukrainian combat aircraft, Bayraktar UAVs, heavy MLRS and artillery, as well as Tochka-U missile systems hit the island. As a result of continuous shelling, on June 30, 2022, the Russian command was forced to evacuate its units from the island, and it was soon occupied by the Ukrainian army.

In turn, the Russian Armed Forces were also able to inflict a number of sensitive blows on the Ukrainian Air Force.

On July 14, a strike was launched from the Black Sea by Kalibr cruise missiles directly into the center of Vinnitsa. The enemy managed to shoot down half of the missiles fired, but the remaining three hit the Air Force Officers' House and nearby buildings. Among the victims of the attack were three high-ranking officers of the Ukrainian Air Force: Colonel Dmitry Burdiko, Major Konstantin Puzyrenko and the head of the weapons and logistics service of the Air Force Command, Colonel Oleg Makarchuk. This blow provoked panic among the Kyiv leadership, which initiated a “witch hunt” and a series of purges, including in the SBU.

The Ukrainian Air Force received another heavy blow on July 23, when the Kanatovo airfield in the Kirovograd region was hit by 8 Russian sea-based Kalibr missiles and 5 Kh-22 anti-ship missiles fired from Tu-22 bombers. Thus, a spectacular end was put in the espionage stories, which began in the spring of 2022. Then representatives of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine tried to recruit one of the Russian pilots for $2 million so that he would hijack his plane and land it in Ukraine. Our pilot did not collude with the enemy and helped the FSB thwart these plans. The entire further operation took place under the control of Russian special services. At the time agreed with the Ukrainian side, not a Russian combat aircraft, but... missiles flew to the Kanatovo airfield, damaging the runway, airfield equipment, destroying the head of the airbase, Lieutenant Colonel Marchenko, and also hitting three Su-27 fighters and two Su-24 bombers.

Three days later, the favorite of Ukrainian propaganda from the 100th tactical aviation brigade, Major Alexander Kukurba, died on his “anniversary” 299th combat mission in the Zaporozhye region. He was one of those who was personally received by President Zelensky and awarded the title “Hero of Ukraine” for the destruction of “15 Russian tanks, 50 armored vehicles and 300 personnel" From an interview with his mother, it is known that Kukurba ejected from a low altitude, but the parachute did not open.

Until the end of 2022, several more famous Ukrainian pilots died. Among them are attack pilot Major Vadim Blagoveshchenny from the 299th Brigade, fighter pilots of the 39th Brigade Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Babich and Colonel Oleg Shupik, fighter pilots of the 204th Brigade Major Taras Redkin (call sign “Tarasik”) and Captain Anton Listopad, named the country's best pilot in 2019. It was he who was entrusted with the opening of the air part of the military parade on the day of the 30th anniversary of the “independence” of Ukraine. The MiG-29 fighter pilot, Major Vadim Voroshilov, was shot down, but survived, and took the call sign of the best Nazi ace of World War II, Erich Hartmann “Karaya”.

By the end of 2022, according to official reports from the Russian Ministry of Defense, almost 300 Ukrainian aircraft and up to 200 helicopters had already been destroyed. Military expert, former officer of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Mikhail Khodarenok optimistically wrote:

“The elite of the Ukrainian Air Force is over. Everyone who could fly was destroyed."

According to him, the Ukrainian Armed Forces lost a large number of planes and helicopters,

“experienced pilots died along with the machines, and it is impossible to replace them in the foreseeable future.”

Losses in the personnel of the Ukrainian Air Force were indeed very heavy and amounted to at least a hundred people. When, at the beginning of January 2023, the Ukrainian media interviewed one of the combat pilots, intending, based on his stories, to concoct an epic about the “heroic everyday life” of the Military Forces. However, he completely disappointed the journalists. According to the pilot, the recent battles for Izyum and Kherson turned out to be very difficult for the Ukrainian Air Force due to the competent actions of the Russian air defense system, which led to heavy losses. He mentioned that of the 80 fellow students who graduated with him, only about two dozen remained alive.

“The hardest thing was to realize that you, like a bag of instant coffee, are disposable,”

— the pilot squeezed out.

At the same time, Russian military personnel and war correspondents on the front line testified exactly the opposite of the optimistic reports of the Russian Ministry of Defense: Ukrainian aviation still poses a serious danger to our ground forces, regularly striking positions and advancing units. At the same time, Russian aviation, due to the enemy air defense system, did not dare cross the front line in order to work deep in the Ukrainian rear. No one was going to engage in the suppression of Ukrainian air defense, although the Russian Aerospace Forces have all the capabilities to carry out this task: AWACS and electronic warfare aircraft, modern bombers, anti-radar missiles and glide bombs. It all depends solely on the reluctance of the Aerospace Forces command, apparently fearing high losses in aircraft and personnel, which turned out to be quite difficult to replace.

The acute contradiction that emerged by the end of 2022 between the victorious reports of General Konashenkov and the real state of affairs on the front line was explained quite simply - the real damage inflicted on the enemy turned out to be much less than officially declared. If we sum up the documented losses of Ukrainian aviation in 2022, they amount to not 300, but approximately 70 combat and military transport aircraft: 13 Su-27 fighters, 16 MiG-29 fighters, 18 Su-24 bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, 17 Su attack aircraft -25, several combat training L-39, three military transport An-26, one Il-76 and one An-225 Mriya. Of the 132 helicopters, approximately 25 were reliably destroyed: 6 combat Mi-24s, 16 military transport Mi-8s, one Mi-14 from the Navy. And as mentioned in the previous part of our review, another couple of Mi-2s and Mi-8s were captured at the airfield in Chernobaevka (Kherson region) at the beginning of the Northern Military District. That is, almost all of Ukrainian military transport and more than half of combat aircraft remained in service and continued to fly combat missions. The enemy had no problems with the helicopter fleet, whose losses were more than made up for by Western supplies...

Western supplies

Just a few days after Russia launched a special military operation, the West announced the possible dispatch of combat aircraft to Ukraine. Statements on this topic were made by both the leadership of the European Union and many NATO member countries. Inflamed by promises of Western assistance, the command of the Ukrainian Air Force immediately announced to the whole world that in the near future it would receive at its disposal 70 combat aircraft: 16 MiG-29 fighters and 14 Su-25 attack aircraft from Bulgaria, 28 MiG-29 fighters from Poland and 12 MiG-29 fighters from Slovakia. "There will now be more “Ghosts of Kyiv”!“- Ukrainian propaganda boasted.

However, it soon became clear that not a single European country could produce suitable types of equipment. Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland officially reported that they could not transfer to Ukraine “such an important element of airspace protection" The reasons for their refusal were simple and understandable.

Firstly, most of the aircraft fleet was in poor technical condition. In Poland, after a number of disasters, the operation of Soviet MiG-29 fighters was banned back in 2019. In Slovakia, out of 12 MiG-29 fighters, no more than 4 could take off, and in Bulgaria - only five. The rest of the Bulgarian and Slovak attack aircraft and fighters had been idle in hangars for many years and were only suitable as donors of spare parts.

Secondly, NATO feared the outbreak of open confrontation with Russia in the event of military aircraft flying from its airfields to Ukraine. Poland has directly stated that it does not want to shoulder such a heavy responsibility alone. According to Warsaw, the decision on the official transfer of combat aircraft should be made at the NATO level and be uniform.

But there was no unity in NATO, since Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey directly stated that they do not yet plan to send their weapon. Romania was seriously considering the issue of transferring its modernized MiG-21 Lancer fighters to the Ukrainian Air Force. However, taking into account their venerable age and technical condition, it was decided that the MiG-21s do not have serious combat value.

Therefore, at the NATO summit held on March 24, 2022 in Brussels, a much more realistic decision was made: instead of aircraft, additional air defense systems, including Soviet-made ones, would be transferred to Kyiv. Slovakia was the first to distinguish itself by donating the S-300PMU anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine, which caused a great public outcry on both sides of the front. Starting in April, the Pentagon, as part of military assistance, began supplying Ukraine with Mi-17 helicopters, previously intended for supplies to the collapsed pro-American regime in Afghanistan.

In total, in 2022, according to Western press materials, 18 Su-25 attack aircraft (14 from Bulgaria and 4 from North Macedonia) and 35 helicopters (20 Mi-17 helicopters from the USA and 15 Mi-2, Mi-8 and Mi-24 from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia). Also, a number of Polish MiG-29 fighters arrived in Ukraine (the last delivery was carried out secretly).

According to Foreign Policy, all of these planes and helicopters were dismantled before shipment by a special “field team” located in Poland and associated with the European Command of the US Armed Forces. After dismantling, the planes and helicopters were sent to Ukraine under the guise of “spare parts,” which did not give Russia legal grounds to talk about the supply of combat aircraft. After crossing the border, most of what was received was collected and sent into battle, and the remaining “boards” were used as a source of spare parts. All this allowed the Ukrainian Air Force not only to make up for the losses incurred, but also to raise more and more planes and helicopters from storage.

Give me the F-16!

However, the stocks of old Soviet aircraft in NATO countries were limited, and soon the Ukrainian side’s requests to its “Western partners” took on more specific forms - Kyiv demanded F-16 fighters. It is clear that the idea itself was not born in the heads of Svidomo patriots, inflamed by “Russian aggression,” but was suggested and appropriately formulated by their Western masters. The Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, General Charles Brown, directly demanded that Ukraine completely abandon Soviet combat aircraft and switch to NATO models.

The decision was logical. The F-16 may be outdated, but it is the most popular, reliable and cheapest NATO combat aircraft, widely used throughout the world. Over the 50 years of operation, many variants of missile and bomb weapons were developed for it; it did not experience any problems with logistics, pilots and technical personnel. Many European countries that had already ordered batches of the latest American fifth-generation F-35 fighters were ready to get rid of their F-16s by donating them to Kyiv. And the laws adopted in Ukraine even before the start of the war made it possible to accept foreign citizens (in this case, pilots and technical personnel) into service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine without any problems. Thus, in a very short time, NATO could not only completely rearm, but also increase the strength of the Ukrainian Air Force. In this regard, it is noteworthy that despite heavy losses, not a single tactical aviation brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force has yet been disbanded, awaiting Western Lend-Lease in the form of aircraft and pilots.

Bandera propaganda chose the Svidomo Air Force captain of the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade Andrei Pilshchikov (call sign “Jus”) as the main mouthpiece of their requests. In numerous interviews with Ukrainian and Western media, he colorfully described how Ukrainian pilots on their outdated aircraft are most afraid of Russian air defense systems and Su-35 fighters. And only the transfer of American F-16 aircraft to Ukraine can change this deplorable state of affairs. At the same time, the “Buy me a fighter jet” project is being launched and a propaganda video is being filmed in which a Ukrainian military pilot sadly looks at the crashed fighters and asks to buy him a new plane so that he can fight “Russian aggression.”

Already in June 2022, “Juice”, together with another military pilot with the call sign “Moonfish”, visited Washington as part of the Ukrainian delegation. At meetings with prominent American senators and congressmen, they discussed modern weapons systems needed by Ukraine. The practical result of these negotiations was the approval by the US House of Representatives of the allocation of $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16. According to experts, intensive training of F-16 pilots who already have experience flying the MiG-29 and Su-27 takes 2-3 months, and approximately the same amount of time is required to train ground technical personnel. However, large losses, the general low level of professionalism of Ukrainian pilots and their poor knowledge of English extended the training process until the beginning of 2024.

Much more significant assistance was the supply to Ukraine of relatively modern aircraft weapons from NATO countries. First of all, American anti-radar missiles AGM-88 HARM, designed to destroy Russian radars and S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft systems. Through the efforts of NATO specialists, these missiles were integrated into the armament of the MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters. According to Western military experts, using the AGM-88 missile, the Ukrainian Air Force was able to limit the actions of Russian air defense in the front-line zone, which led to an increase in sorties of Ukrainian Su-25 and Su-24 to bomb Russian positions in the Kherson and Kharkov regions.

After the Ukrainian side committed a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge on October 8, 2022, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a large-scale operation against the Nezalezhnaya energy system. The weakened Ukrainian aviation and air defense system were unable to intercept all Russian missiles and mass-launched Geranium kamikaze drones. Cheap “shahid mopeds” only completely depleted the last reserves of anti-aircraft missiles of mobile air defense systems and MANPADS. A few Ukrainian Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters also chased the Geraniums day and night, but due to outdated on-board radars and air-to-air missiles, they could not effectively intercept such small targets. The Ukrainian pilots managed to shoot down something, but only with the help of the 30-mm cannons installed on their fighters.

All this forced NATO to admit the “colossal effect” of Russian attacks on the energy sector and air defense system of Ukraine. It was decided to begin massive deliveries of NATO air defense systems and ammunition to Kiev. These were mostly outdated models from the Cold War, such as the German Gepard self-propelled gun, mobile Avenger air defense systems from the USA and Stormer-Starstreak from the UK. But there were also more modern models: the American Patriot air defense system, the American-Norwegian NASAMS air defense system and the German IRIS-T SLM air defense system.

In addition, at the end of 2022, some Ukrainian Su-24 bombers and reconnaissance aircraft were upgraded to use the Anglo-French long-range air-to-surface cruise missiles Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG, which were intended to destroy stationary objects protected by Air defense at a distance of up to 250 km. Also, the Ukrainian Air Force was given JDAM-ER adjustable glide bombs, which, after being dropped, can quite accurately hit targets at a distance of up to 75 km.

We will talk about the actions of the Ukrainian Air Force and the supply of Western weapons in 2023 in the next part of our review...
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  1. +1
    4 January 2024 07: 20
    I don’t understand, the leadership of the Russian Federation started the SVO, it seemed cheerful, but there was a feeling of some kind of half-heartedness, splayed out. Then the notorious Minsk agreements, which no one from the opposite side even thought of implementing, and then they laughed in the face of the Commander-in-Chief, like Russia again once fooled and he himself personally admitted it.
    It is clear that the forces allocated for the first disarming strike were criminally insufficient, the conscripts were sent to slaughter, they made a lot of mistakes (Bucha), there was no fleet at all, except for shooting with Calibers it was not capable of anything more. Now, in addition to the nominal new territories of the Russian Federation, the indigenous ones turned out to be under mortal threat.
    The throne is shaking, if they elect some Tajik as president, Kadyrov will turn out to be a blessing.
  2. +2
    4 January 2024 07: 43
    There was already a similar article recently, if I'm not mistaken?
    1. G17
      4 January 2024 08: 12
      This is the third part of the series of articles “Ukrainian Luftwaffe”. There will be a fourth (and possibly a fifth).
  3. -5
    4 January 2024 08: 13
    A very chaotic and stupid article, by the way, on confirmed losses of Ukrainian Su-24s you can find a complete analysis on the Internet, quite qualified, then why? something и somewhere mention in passing
    1. +4
      4 January 2024 17: 50
      Quote: bober1982
      A very chaotic and stupid article, by the way, on confirmed losses of Ukrainian Su-24s you can find a complete analysis on the Internet, quite qualified, then why? something и somewhere mention in passing
      Alas, this article is largely propaganda...
  4. +15
    4 January 2024 09: 19
    Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft and combat helicopters approached the front line at an ultra-low altitude, opened fire on NURS from a pitching position towards Russian positions and immediately went back so as not to be shot down by Russian air defense or Su-35 fighters. The effectiveness of such attacks was extremely low, but it made it possible to reduce losses by an order of magnitude and increase the number of sorties for Ukr-fascist pilots.

    And ours hit NURS very effectively from pitching up. It is not clear how to explain this.

    And it is not the command of the Aerospace Forces that does not want to carry out an air offensive operation, “for fear of heavy losses.” He has no opportunities.

    Firstly, everyone who knew how and was trained to carry out such operations was fired.
    Secondly, they dispersed the Gagarin Military Air Force, where there were personnel who knew how to plan such operations.
    Thirdly, they merged the Air Force with the Air Defense, then with the Aerospace Forces. As a result, air defense officers dominate everything, who, no matter how literate in theory, are not trained in practice for the massive use of strike aircraft in conditions of strong enemy air defense.

    Main. The General Staff must plan and lead such an operation, since in order to destroy air defense targets it is necessary to use means of destruction not only of the Aerospace Forces, but also of the Navy and the missile forces and artillery of the Army.

    But there also seems to be a shortage of personnel.
    1. +1
      4 January 2024 10: 00
      Yes, not only a shortage of personnel, but also a shortage of equipment... In all branches of the military. Industry does not have time to make up for the losses.
    2. +8
      4 January 2024 11: 11
      Yes, everything is clear to everyone! That we did not have effective means of detecting and attacking enemy aircraft and air defense (satellites, AWACS itself, high point?) Otherwise, why is the enemy still flying and 10-15 aircraft with scalps and storms causing us damage? And the possible use of f - 16 will not change anything only for our military leadership, and there will be an order of magnitude more casualties among military and civilians (who would want them) and then beware of the Black Sea Fleet, the Ukrainians managed to drive it into Novorossiysk!!! Everything is great only with TV freaks!!!
  5. BAI
    4 January 2024 15: 05
    On April 1, 2022, the Kremlin, through the press secretary of the Russian President, said:

    Isn't it clear that this was an April Fool's joke? Moreover, Navka’s husband always avoids answering questions about the military service, with the words - This is for the Ministry of Defense.
    Among the victims of the attack were three high-ranking officers of the Ukrainian Air Force: Colonel Dmitry Burdiko, Major Konstantin Puzyrenko and the head of the weapons and logistics service of the Air Force Command, Colonel Oleg Makarchuk.

    2 colonels and a major - regimental level
  6. +3
    4 January 2024 15: 40
    It’s strange why the West, seeing that the wounded forces of the 404th were alive and attacking, delayed deliveries of F-16s to them so much. The decision was made a long time ago, there is somewhere to get it, but there are still no pilots. They are stupid about something. But most likely it’s already here. There will be more problems.
    1. 0
      6 January 2024 01: 17
      Nothing strange. With fighters everything is more complicated than with tanks. We need to prepare personnel and deploy equipment. But I agree that they will soon have f16s.
    2. 0
      6 January 2024 14: 47
      Quote: Glagol1
      The decision was made a long time ago, there is somewhere to get it, but there are still no pilots...
      They have problems with personnel, with pilots and with engineers. Many were knocked out, which is not surprising: in February ‘22 KZs on fighters had a total flight time of four hundred hours. Even those who boasted of their knowledge of English could not show the required result during the test: they did not give ELP4, let alone TOEFL70. I think they are now continuing to cram the language, which they have been doing for many months. They themselves also say that the brain was blown away by these dances around the 16th, mirages…. No matter what the press writes or talking heads say, the process of relearning has not yet started, at most the language.
      Well, don’t forget about the commercial component: why for the sake of dead state destroy the market.
  7. -2
    4 January 2024 21: 18
    The author really hits the mark.
    Similar thoughts have been in my head for a long time.
    It would be better if they didn’t visit me, but the Russian Defense Ministry...
  8. 0
    5 January 2024 21: 49
    It seems more likely that the planes most likely flew to Poland and other countries for repairs. Ukraine began to build fortifications, unlike Russia. I said that we need to hit the cement factories
    Regarding the shooting down of aircraft, the issue is controversial; at low altitude, these aircraft are not visible
    You can believe that some of the planes failed during the first strikes.
    Regarding the fact that they think that we are knocking down the issue here is controversial, for example, the plane dived 15 meters and no air defense can see it anymore
    There is something wrong with the count of downed aircraft.
    Ukrainian planes continued to fly and continue to fly, the question is who is launching missiles at ships and headquarters? Well, the most important thing is that Ukraine has not yet been allowed to attack Russia.
  9. 0
    5 January 2024 21: 56
    I don’t blame our people for anything, but there’s something wrong with the counting. Ukraine doesn't have that many planes. And even if they were given little
    Sometimes it seems to me that Ukrainian planes are not based in Ukraine, hit and immediately fly to Poland or Bulgaria
    1. 0
      6 January 2024 01: 24
      It is clear that the stated quantity is incorrect. Strons always greatly exaggerate the number of targets hit.
  10. +1
    6 January 2024 01: 30
    And stop calling them the Luftwaffe. They are not called that, which means the author is misleading. You need to be correct and call things by their proper names. You also can’t call all those who serve as fascists, since you don’t know everyone’s beliefs. The article looks like propaganda. Don't embarrass yourself.

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“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev Lev; Ponomarev Ilya; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; Mikhail Kasyanov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"