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May 4, 2022
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Russian “Triumphs” in the Crimea and Belarus created a no-fly zone over Ukraine

In the photo: servicemen during training of the S-400 "Triumph" air defense division of the Baltic Fleet to destroy air targets of a mock enemy using electronic launches.

In the photo: servicemen during training of the S-400 “Triumph” air defense division of the Baltic Fleet to destroy air targets of a mock enemy using electronic launches. (Photo: Vitaly Nevar/TASS)

Here’s an amazing thing: the distinguished guests of the President Zelensky in recent months, people from Western countries have been visiting Kyiv, as they have almost never done this. Exclusively on trains. Although, of course, you can guess. They fear for their lives. Why and what exactly are they afraid of, refusing ordinary VIP airliners? Let’s try to figure it out.

In the last days of April, important images appeared on the Internet, allegedly taken from American reconnaissance satellites. They show the surroundings of the Belarusian village of Zyabovka (Gomel region), 25 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. Judging by the images presented, at least a division of Russian S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems is deployed here at new combat positions under the cover of the Pantsir-S missile and gun systems.

Zyabovka is 16 kilometers southeast of Gomel. Until 1994, there was a first-class Soviet airfield here, better known as the Pribytki air base. For many years, Tu-22RDM aircraft of the 290th Separate Long-Range Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment of the USSR Air Force of the 46th Air Army of the Supreme High Command of Strategic Purposes were deployed on it. An excellent runway 3,000 meters long made it possible to receive cars of any class.

But in 1994, both this regiment itself and the entire 46th Air Army were disbanded. The garrison was empty, the pilots dispersed. And then came into complete disrepair and previously strategic airfield.

According to the Belarusian information and news publication Flagstok, everything changed dramatically at the beginning of this year. On the territory of our allied country, then preparations were underway for a very large-scale, joint with Russia command and staff exercises “Allied Resolve-2022”. Therefore, no one then paid much attention to the increased activity of the military around Zyabovka.

First, in the 20th of January, all the entrances to the abandoned airfield were blocked by the local police. Some time later, according to local social networks, flights of the world’s largest heavy multi-purpose military transport helicopters of the Mi-26 type, capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo, were noted in the same direction. In February, the well-known service “flightradar24” recorded a landing at a nearby civilian airfield near Gomel of a Tu-134AK passenger aircraft (tail number RA-65690), which is used by the top military leadership of Russia. It turns out that a certain high rank flew in from Moscow. What for?

And only now it became clear why such activity suddenly arose under Zyabovka, almost forgotten by God. Almost out of nowhere, at least eight S-400 launchers appeared here. Around them for self-defense – ZRAK “Shell” and several radars. All this, of course, is aimed at Ukraine. From here, our air defense scans the sky above it for about 600 kilometers in depth. Is it a lot or a little?

For clarity: from Gomel to Kyiv, only 220 kilometers in a straight line. To Zhytomyr – 291 kilometers. Sumy is 310 kilometers away. Chernigov is only 106 kilometers away.

Meanwhile, with their ultra-long-range 40N6E missiles, which were put into service in 2018, the Triumphs are capable of hitting aerodynamic targets of the “aircraft” type at a distance of up to 400 kilometers. In other words, from under Zyabovka – over any of the listed Ukrainian cities. Easily! There would be a team.

We go further. Not later than the beginning of this year, another division of the Russian “Triumphs” was located west of Gomel, in the Brest region. More specifically, in the area of ​​​​the settlement of Luninets, where the reserve air base of the Air Force and the Air Defense Forces of the Republic of Belarus is located. It is about 280 kilometers from Zyabovka towards Poland. Closer to the border with her Brest. But Ukraine is also close at hand from there.

In addition to the S-400, according to Western sources, as part of the Allied Resolve-2022 exercises, 32 Su-25 attack aircraft of the 18th Guards Aviation Regiment of the Eastern Military District flew here from the Far East (that is, over 7 thousand kilometers). But today we are not interested in attack aircraft, but exclusively in the S-400 systems and their combat capabilities over Ukraine. Let’s estimate where the “Triumphs” with their 40N6E are able to “reach out” from under Luninets?

In the zone of guaranteed destruction from there – Rivne (184 kilometers in a straight line). The same Zhytomyr (390 kilometers), Lutsk (247 kilometers), Novograd-Volynsky (276 kilometers).

Attentive readers have the right to note: in Belarus, our S-400 anti-aircraft systems are also located near Grodno, where a joint Russian-Belarusian combat training center was created on their basis in 2021. Why was the military equipment of the 210th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment of the RF Armed Forces from Dmitrov near Moscow transferred to the center at the same time.

But this very center is clearly focused almost exclusively on neighboring Poland. It is far from Grodno to the Ukrainian borders. For this reason, according to some information, one of the former divisions of the 210th regiment was transferred to Luninets six months ago. Closer to Rovno and Lutsk.

Therefore, I propose to Ukraine and return. Even a simple enumeration of its cities, which at any moment can be “covered” from the Belarusian airfields Luninets and Zyabovka, convincingly proves that if necessary, Russia is able, with the help of its long-range Triumphs, to absolutely prohibit any flights over the entire northern and almost all of the central part of the “independent”. Moreover, our military seems to be already doing it.

So, according to the American publication Military Watch Magazine, on February 25, 2022, Russian systems deployed in Belarus in the vicinity of Kyiv destroyed a Su-27 fighter piloted by the most famous ace of Ukraine, a 53-year-old colonel Alexander Oksanchenko.

And here is a message on this subject from the Russian Ministry of Defense for April 15, 2022: as Major General said that day Igor Konashenkov“Russian air defense systems in the area of ​​​​the village of Gorodnya, Chernihiv region, while returning to the air base, the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter, which on April 14 attacked residents of the peaceful village of Klimovo in the Bryansk region.”

Where our military carried out the launch – not a word. But it is reasonable to assume that just from under Zyabovka. Because from it to Gorodnya is only 93 kilometers in a straight line. At hand not only for very expensive long-range missiles such as 40N6E. To defeat that Ukrainian helicopter, it is enough and much simpler (and therefore less scarce!), But 48N6DM missiles, which are also included in the arsenals of the Triumphs, the destruction zone of which is one and a half times smaller. But in this case, it was enough.

From all of the above, Military Watch Magazine drew a deplorable conclusion for Kyiv and NATO: “The ability of the Russian Aerospace Forces to neutralize Ukrainian aircraft so far from land borders shows how one-sided the balance of power in the skies over Ukraine is.”

We will assume that both we and our anti-aircraft gunners have dealt with the north and the center of this country. And how are things over the south, engulfed in fierce hostilities of the country?

Judging by the reports – also quite good. As evidence: on April 16, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that “Russian air defense systems in the Odessa region shot down a Ukrainian military transport aircraft in the air, delivering a large batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries.”

It is clear that only the Triumph could destroy the Ukrainian car at such a distance. Where did he shoot from in this case? Probably from the Crimea. More precisely, from near Evpatoria, where in September 2018 the S-400 division of the 18th Guards Anti-Aircraft Missile Sevastopol-Feodosia Regiment of the 31st Air Defense Division of the 4th Red Banner Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Southern Military District took up combat duty for the first time.

Previously, we had the same ones near Sevastopol and Feodosia. Later, the fourth division of the “Triumphs” was placed at Dzhankoy. The western coast of the peninsula was less well covered. Now this seems to be fixed.

In addition, the Evpatoria division since then has been the closest to Odessa (249 kilometers in a straight line), which the Ukrainian army is now feverishly turning into a fortress like Mariupol. Therefore, if we are talking about the liberation of this city, the help from the Crimean anti-aircraft gunners can be simply invaluable.

Now we will take a map of Ukraine. Focusing on the combat capabilities of our most long-range missile of the S-400 complex, we will paint its territory with at least three circles with centers in Zyabovka, Luninets and Evpatoria. Each with a radius of 400 kilometers. What will we see? That enemy pilots now fly over this land is still a pleasure. That the Russians are watching each of them as soon as their cars leave the runway. But the main thing is that Moscow decides whether or not to return to their airfields for Ukrainian pilots in most cases. Not Kyiv.

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