Warning against ‘F-16 delivery’: Russia destroys MiG-29 fleet

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — A MiG-29 fleet of the Ukrainian Air Force has been destroyed in recent days. A Russian missile attack has completely destroyed an airbase of Ukrainian pilots. A video shared on February 16 shows the nearly obliterated base. Overturned planes on their backs and at least 10 already malfunctioning MiG-29s.

Warning against 'F-16 delivery': Russia destroys MiG-29 fleet
Video screenshot

The video was published very recently. Ukraine officially “lighted” it for the general public and made it public domain. Ukrainian sources claim that the missile attack took place in the summer of 2022.

Experts say Russia is sending a clear message about a possible supply of Western aircraft. They mostly target the alleged F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon, or Rafale. These aircraft must take off from military airfields and specialized airstrips. Moscow shows that in the future there is nowhere to hide possible deliveries of Western fighter jets.

The scale of the destruction can be seen in the released footage. Although there has been no official confirmation from Ukraine, knowledgeable analysts say the planes would be difficult to recover. The base can be rebuilt, but this is a risky process. A construction or reconstruction will be clearly illuminated by Russian satellites, suggesting a repeat or more attacks.

The video also shows that the surrounding infrastructure and warehouses of the Ukrainian air base are also destroyed. New Russian missile attacks are expected in February 2023. A similar opinion was expressed by Mr. Mykhailo Podolyak, presidential adviser of Ukraine, to local Ukrainian media.

There have been claims that Russia may be changing its tactics on some attacks. After Moscow ordered the destruction of energy infrastructure in recent months, the Kremlin is now believed to be ready to cause an emergency shutdown of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. Such a claim comes from the Institute for the Study of War, an American research reserve.

By all accounts, Moscow seems to be changing its tactics. Proof of this is the diverse types of rockets used in recent days for strikes in Ukraine. Cruise missiles were fired as well as missiles from battleships. According to sources, the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces failed to counter the Russian Kh-22 missile. The commander of Ukraine’s air force said that his country lacks a system capable of intercepting and shooting down Kh-22 missiles.

Russia changes the attack time as well. In the past, the Russian Air Force often carried out strategic strikes early in the morning, about an hour and a half after midnight. However, the Russian army carried out the last attacks late at night, an hour and a half before midnight.

MiG-29 can't shoot anything down with its 40-year-old radar
Photo credit: Wikimedia

According to experts, there is a reason why Russia mainly uses night strikes against Ukraine. When the attack is carried out at night, the Kremlin does not need to activate radars. Simply using a counter-deployment of visual observers is sufficient. They are also capable of planning tactical strikes.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, Russia claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility. Russia claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers. They tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

MiG-29 can't shoot anything down with its 40-year-old radar
Photo credit: Wikimedia

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, a “special military operation” can only take place after a UN resolution. There is no such resolution. So this is an invasion and war against Ukraine.


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