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Opinion

A bad end of Ukrainian Air Force

New vlog about Ukrainian Air Force was published on YouTube channel.

It includes:
- briefly about current state of affairs Ukrainian Air Force;
- international scandals and incidents related to Ukrainian Air Force;
- crimes of ukrainian pilots in Donbass.


Transcript:

Hello, I'm Vasily Prozorov.

On August 2nd, Ukrainian military pilots celebrated their professional holiday.

After the collapse of the USSR, the former Ukrainian SSR maintained one of the most numerous and powerful Air Force in Europe. The great part of Soviet military airfields were located on Ukrainian territory, including the bases of Tu-160, MiG-29 and Su-27.

In terms of quantity, Ukrainian Air Force in 1992 was second only to that of the United States, Russia and China, being the most numerous in Europe. Three air armies were transferred to the Ukrainian Air Force - this is more than 1100 combat aircrafts.

Army aviation became part of the Ukrainian land forces. It was created on the basis of seven regiments of combat helicopters, two transport and several separate squadrons of the Soviet Air Force. The Mi-2, Mi-6, Mi-8, Mi-26 and Mi-24 were in service. A total of about 900 units.

This is an enormous number of aircraft, both planes and helicopters.

What happened next? During twenty years of independence, Ukraine has lost almost all of its huge potential for combat aviation.

According to The Military Balance, as of the beginning of 2019 the Ukrainian Air Force had 80 Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters, 14 Su-24 front-line bombers, 31 Su-25 close air support aircrafts, and about 50 helicopters.

The deplorable situation with the modernization potential of the “Nezalezhnaya” defense industry is vividly illustrated by the scandal that broke out between Ukraine and Croatia in March 2016. Zagreb has signed a multimillion-dollar contract with Kiev to repair seven MiG-21 fighters and sell five used aircraft.

The money were received, and the work seems to have been completed. But after the transfer of fighters to Croatia, it turned out that only three aircrafts are operational. The planes' fuel tanks leaked, their radars didn't work, and there were cracks in their hulls. It turned out that the Ukrainians used old parts from aircrafts that had long been written off in other countries of the former USSR and bought out by Kiev on the cheap.

Obviously, Ukraine treats the repair and modernization of its own aircraft in the same way. On October 16th, 2018, a two-seat Su-27UB fighter crashed at the Clear sky exercise near Vinnytsia. A Ukrainian pilot and an American serviceman who took the place of the co-pilot were killed. The cause of the crash was called a technical malfunction of the aircraft. If Kiev uses a defective fighter during exercises with
"Western partners", it is terrible to think about the situation in other combat units.
The deplorable state of the aviation industry and the Air Forces of Ukraine is the result of a consistent degradation that has continued since the collapse of the USSR.

But the real test was the war in the Donbass region. And the test was failed miserably. At the beginning of the conflict, aviation was used quite widely, but because of the large number of casualties from the return fire, "Povitriani sili" almost completely stopped flying over the rebel areas.

In a few months of fighting, Ukraine lost 10 planes and 11 helicopters. These figures differ depending on the sources, but we take the official statistics as a basis.

The vast majority of vehicles were shot down with MANPADS and heavy machine guns. The Ukrainian Air Force suffered the most serious loss on June 14th, 2014. An Il-76MD transport plane crashed while landing at Luhansk airport under fire from the ground. All 49 soldiers on board were killed, including 9 crew members.

Here is how the experts of the British magazine Air International commented on the situation in 2015 - I quote - “the Ukrainian Air Force has shown itself to be poorly trained and unable to adapt and improve during the internal asymmetric conflict that continues in the South-Eastern regions of the country” - end quote.

But I would also like to focus on the moral side of the activities of Ukrainian pilots during the conflict in the Donbass. The lack of high-quality sights, modern ammunition led to the fact that the pilots struck "as God puts it". And then there are a lot of questions for these pilots. After all, very often the strikes were carried out not on the positions of the militia, but on civilian objects.

On June 2, a Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft launched a missile attack on the building of the former regional administration in the center of Luhansk. Eight people were killed in the attack, including five women. Official Kiev in its cynical manner put forward a version of the explosion of the air conditioner in the building.

At dawn on July 2nd, Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft struck the outskirts of the village of Stanytsia Luhanska. This is an area of residential development where there were no military installations. On that day, 12 people were killed, including two children. Official Kyiv has called this attack an unfortunate mistake. Naturally, no one suffered any punishment, and a few days later, President Poroshenko awarded the pilots of the brigade that struck this blow with the medal of Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

Two weeks later, on July 15th, a new attack on residential buildings was also launched at dawn, this time in the city of Snizhne. As a result of the explosions, as well as under the rubble of destroyed houses, 11 people were killed and dozens were injured. This time, according to Kiev, the strike was carried out by Russian planes in order to compromise the Ukrainian government in the eyes of residents of the region.
Two weeks later, on July 30 – and again at dawn – Ukrainian planes strike the city of Krasny Luch. The bombs destroyed a gas station, hit residential buildings, and only by a miracle the number of victims was limited to one person.

However, the most horrific incident occurred on August 13th in the city of Zugres.
On a hot summer day, the residents of this small mining town went to the beach of the local reservoir to get some relief from the rumbling war not far away. They got out with their families and children.

There were no military installations, militia positions, or government agencies in the area of the beach, or in the city itself.

But after lunch, Ukrainian planes appeared over the city, and began cluster bombings. Eyewitnesses counted more than 40 explosions. Whole families died – 13 people, including 2 children were killed on the spot, 4 people died in the city, 2 people died in hospital from wounds, including one child, and 40 others were injured.

Among the children killed was Anya Kostenko, who at that time was not even three years old. Together with her parents, she came from Shakhtersk to a specially equipped children's beach in the city of Zugres, which was considered a safe place even during the fighting. The girl and Kostenko's father Yevgeny Sergeyevich died on the spot.

The strike was carried out by pilots of the 299th tactical aviation brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is based in the city of Nikolaev.

I wonder how can they sleep at night. I can understand when pilots are bombing a column of military equipment or fortified enemy positions. But a house or a beach…

This truth is also driven away by the residents of Ukraine. They don't even want to listen. But you will have to answer…


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