The military situation in Ukraine: why did Moscow fail to impose air superiority?

War in Ukraine, why Moscow failed to impose air superiority? The modest activity in the skies by the Russians allowed Turkish-made fighters and drones in the hands of the Ukrainians to strike at troop concentrations. Many aircraft shot down. But the General Staff is fixing the shot

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, said in front of Congress: Putin expected it to be over in two days. It may be the correct analysis, but also a way to emphasize the – initial – problems encountered in the special operation. That’s what the leader called it, as if the soldiers were policemen sent to arrest Zelensky. Now, however, that the Kremlin is pushing its roll, Washington has been very clear on do not underestimate the overwhelming power of Moscow
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Less clear why Russia, after two weeks, failed to acquire air superiority. The British have often reiterated this in daily communiques, almost as if to mock the Tsar. The more cautious Americans have warned that everything can change quickly, that the Russian General Staff is fixing the shot. in fact, the presence of a greater number of aircraft in Belarus was reported, as well as a possible mobilization of resources to recover ground.

The modest activity in the skies by the Russians allowed the fighters and especially the Turkish-made Tb2 drones in the hands of the Ukrainians to hit troop concentrations. The reduced presence of attack helicopters then made the missions of the resistant nuclei less risky. The commandos and reservists were able engage the tanks and logistics vehicles and then regain safety positions.

For these favorable conditions, the Ukrainians shot down numerous enemy aircraft: Kiev Ministry of Defense claims to have destroyed 48 planes and 80 helicopters. These are very high and unverifiable numbers, inflated by propaganda, but British analysts have found confirmation of at least 20 jets and helicopters hit. Aircraft aside, the Pentagon reports that the Russians may have lost between 4 and 10 percent of the deployed vehicles. The presence of missile batteries – S300, Buk, Osa, Tor – forced the Russian pilots to lower altitudes and this exposed to the launch of portable Stinger-type missiles (together with the Strela), who shoot themselves in the shoulder and which proved insidious in the hands of the mujaheedin already during the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan: at the time they managed to shoot down over 300 helicopters and 100 Moscow jets.

Experts have provided many interpretations, each offered a piece, but one is always missing to complete the mosaic. These are some of the aspects mentioned, not definitive.

1) Poor preparation to conduct massive activities, with a large number of means. In Syria, for example, they have always operated with small teams.

2) Little ground-to-air integrationthat is a low coordination.

3) Reduced equipment of precision bombs (up to a certain point).

4) Minor training of the crews compared to their NATO colleagues.

5) Fears of friendly fire, that is, to fire on their own planes. occurred during the conflict in Georgia in 2008, there was a sensational episode in the Syrian theater with the destruction of an electronic reconnaissance in the middle of an Israeli raid. However it can happen.

6) The General Staff, in the first phase of the war, has launched limited raids against radars, tracks, batteries and therefore did not decapitate the adversary device. Did he think it was unnecessary? A glaring flaw in planning? According to some intelligence sources, the Ukrainian army was able to disperse its equipment, making it difficult to identify: for this reason the anti-aircraft defense of Kiev remained active.

remember that we are still in phase one of the conflict. The generals have reorganized the ranks to get out of the quagmire – in a real sense – and now they are preparing to further pursue their opponents by land with all the potential available. Analysts are convinced that the same dynamic will occur in airspace. In fact, there have been bombings in the western part of Ukraine – the most important rear for the resistance, where Western weapons come from – and radar planes have appeared in a Belarusian airport: a fundamental component for coordinating a large number of aircraft. Movements spied on by experts who have access to satellite images and especially by large surveillance apparatus that NATO has been creating for weeks along the entire border line, from the extreme tip of Europe to the Black Sea.


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