Anyone who more or less systematically follows the course of the special operation of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, I believe, could not fail to notice one oddity.
As early as March 6, 2022, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation officially announced that “practically all combat-ready aviation of the Kyiv regime has been destroyed.” And the development of events in the following days of March seemed to convincingly confirm this. According to the daily reports of our defense department, until the beginning of April, if anything our air defense was destroying in the sky over Ukraine, it was almost exclusively reconnaissance and strike drones. Less often – combat and transport helicopters.
Air battles with the participation of Ukrainian aircraft in the reports of the Russian Defense Ministry were discussed only in exceptional cases. As, for example, on March 28, when it was said that two enemy front-line bombers and one attack aircraft were shot down. More specifically – a pair of Su-24s – west of the village of Korosten in the Zhytomyr region. And one Su-25 – over the village of Druzhkovka in the Donetsk region. Then it went quiet again.
But suddenly, since the beginning of April, it broke through. The chronicle of battles in the skies of Ukraine in the following days is discouraging:
– On April 8, a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet was shot down by Russian air defense systems in the area of the settlement of Novomikhailovka;
– On April 11, two Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft were “demilitarized” near the village of Izyum;
– On April 14, a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter was destroyed at the Dnepr airfield;
– On April 15, a Su-27 fighter of the Ukrainian Air Force was shot down in the air near the village of Lozovaya in the Kharkiv region;
– On April 16, a Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft was shot down 15 kilometers south of the city of Izyum. On the same day, a Ukrainian military transport aircraft was destroyed in the Odessa region, delivering a large batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries;
– On April 17, two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters were shot down near the settlements of Fedorovka and Zavody in the Kharkiv region;
– On April 18, Russian air defense “landed” three enemy combat aircraft at once: two MiG-29 fighters in the area of \u200b\u200bthe settlement of Izyum and one Su-25 attack aircraft in the Avdeevka area;
– On April 19, another enemy MiG-29 was shot down near the village of Malinovka, Donetsk region.
This is if we talk only about the enemy’s losses of their aircraft. And how many of them safely left, presumably, from under our fire to their airfields?
In a word, all this somehow bears little resemblance to the “complete destruction” of Kyiv’s military aviation. But how did Ukraine in some almost mythical way suddenly “resurrect” by the end of February almost completely destroyed, it seems, by us fighters and attack aircraft? Indeed, at the beginning of 2021, according to open sources, combat aircraft in their Air Force of this country were listed – the cat cried. Only 26 Su-27s, 16 MiG-29s, 12 Su-24s and 13 Su-25s.
If in just two decades of April we only shot down five MiG-29s over Ukraine and finished off another one at the airfield, then how many did we “stab” over the previous month and a half of continuous fighting?
Little of. Where and who is preparing the “resurrected” cars for flights today, if almost all airfields in Ukraine have long been blown to smithereens? Where do rockets and bombs come from, what, as it turns out, is hung under the wings every day? From what “subsoil” do they draw tons of fuel for the flights that have not stopped in the last couple of weeks?
The answer, as often happens during this special operation, came from across the ocean. April 19 Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby during the next briefing, he said that “Ukrainian forces now have more fighters at their disposal than two weeks ago.” Where are the “wood chips” from? From the “forest”, of course. In the sense – from the dense NATO “forest”.
According to the American rear admiral, the Western allies, despite repeated warnings from Moscow, have already begun deliveries to Kyiv of Soviet-made combat aircraft and the necessary equipment and ammunition for them.
We won’t even guess who exactly acted as the “donor” of the MiG-29 and Su-25, which now with yellow-blue “tridents” on the wings began to regularly and almost out of nowhere again appear over the battlefield. Poland, Bulgaria or Slovakia – what’s the difference? It would seem much more logical to find out the ways and means of deliveries to Ukraine, and new locations for these machines. And those who are under the tutelage of the United States are probably already on their way from the countries of Eastern Europe. Naturally, to find out for the subsequent disposal of such aircraft even at concrete parking lots with our “Caliber” and “Iskander”.
But in reality, it seems, not everything is so simple. There is reason to believe that the new attack aircraft and fighters of the Ukrainian army today are not based in Ukraine at all. Romania is said to have become their current home. Here, from one or several of its airfields, the pilots of the “square” secretly take to the air to strike at Russian troops. Then they return there if they were lucky to survive after completing the combat mission.
The itineraries of such flights are said to be approximately the same. At first, in order not to be detected by the radar facilities of the RF Armed Forces, at extremely low altitudes over the Black Sea towards Odessa. And then from it – in the direction of Nikolaev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye
Moreover, about Romania – this is not just someone’s “sofa” guesses. Although they appeared today on the Web. In particular – in the blog of the host of Channel One TV Ruslana Ostashko, who, by virtue of his official position, definitely has access to information of a very delicate nature. Elementary common sense suggests that the “new-old” fighters from Eastern Europe simply have nowhere to transfer to Ukraine. All military airfields of this country, suitable for flights of jet aircraft, have long been erased into powder. And if some of the runways Kyiv manages to restore over time – in the conditions of complete dominance in the air of Russian aviation, it will not be long to return it to its former sad state.
That is, it is definitely impossible for its combat pilots to fly at least on a regular basis from Ukrainian soil. It remains – “foreign countries will help us.” Romania seems to be the best place for this. Since there are no air defense systems of the Russian Federation near its borders with Ukraine. Only on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet or in the Crimea.
By the way, for our military, the presence of enemy combat aircraft in Romania is not new for a long time. As early as March 6, 2022, at a briefing at the Ministry of Defense, it was reported that by that time the enemy had prudently sent part of its military aircraft to this country. In order, of course, to protect them from our regular strikes on Ukrainian airfields.
Already on that day, the defense department of the Russian Federation, obviously not by chance, considered it necessary to officially warn Kyiv, and Bucharest, and Washington and even Brussels: the use of the Romanian airfield network for basing Ukrainian military aviation with subsequent use against the Russian Armed Forces “can be regarded as the involvement of the named country in armed conflict”. So, a month and a half ago, Moscow did not rule out such a turn of events.
By the way, this version, if it soon finds its public confirmation, will explain a lot, as it seems, both in history and with the tragic death of the Moskva guards missile cruiser. Because then it will become clear what this ship, not completely repaired in Sevastopol, was doing a hundred kilometers from the beaches of Odessa?
First – about the technical condition of “Moscow” to his last day. It’s no secret – it was far from the best. In confirmation, we recall that four years ago, due to the impossibility of organizing a full-fledged repair of the cruiser, which was badly battered in previous campaigns, the possibility of writing it off “on pins and needles” was seriously discussed. Then, at the 13th shipyard in Sevastopol, the ship was patched up for four years. But to mind, apparently, only the chassis of the “Moscow” was brought to mind. So that he could, on his own, somehow stomp to Severodvinsk. Where would he stand for modernization following the example of the same type of “Marshal Ustinov”.
Alas, this did not work out. Whether due to lack of funding, or due to the lack of free production capacity in Severodvinsk. As a result, in 2021, a barely alive ship was pushed out of Sevastopol into the sea. But only in Black. If the cruiser were more intact, it would certainly, as is usually the case, the same one go to military service in the Mediterranean.
However, when there and around Ukraine “smelled of fried food” at the end of last year, no one dared to order the crew of the “Moskva” to follow the Black Sea straits. Instead of the Black Sea flagship, the Pacific missile cruiser “Varyag” was overtaken to the shores of Syria from the Far East far away. Which is still there today. “Moscow” was not entrusted with this mission because, I believe, no one wanted to see how, in which case, the honored cruiser would have to be returned to its home base in a shameful tugboat.
And then our special operation began. And “Moscow” found the most important thing in the Black Sea. She was almost certainly sent to Odessa, mainly because no other ship of the Black Sea Fleet has a radar system like hers. We are talking about the powerful MR-710 Fregat-M radar, which made it possible to track in detail the flights of any aircraft at a distance of up to 300 kilometers. In other words, not only over Ukraine and Moldova, but also over NATO’s Romania and Bulgaria. In the light of the amazing transformation of Ukrainian military aviation, which we are talking about today, such intelligence information was priceless.
Unfortunately, now, after the death of the flagship, this work has become much more difficult for us. Now all hope in this sense is on the 55Zh6M Nebo-M early warning radar stations, which were installed in the Crimea in advance in the spring of 2018. With their help, all the airspace over the Black Sea is now under control. Right up to the Bosphorus Strait, since this radar detects any aircraft at a distance of up to 600 kilometers.
However, Sky-M is apparently unable to fully replace the cruiser Moskva. For from the Crimea to Romania is still about 400 kilometers. To control flights of Ukrainian aircraft in the depths of the territory of this country from the Crimean coast, Russia does not have so many opportunities. Is it possible to urgently transfer the same Nebo-M radar station to Snake Island, located near Odessa, which has been under our control for almost two months.
But even this is not the most important thing. The main thing is what should we do with Romania, if the information about the beginning of the use of its air bases by Kyiv finds its irrefutable confirmation?