Possible Russian losses in Crimea base attack: Su-25s, S-400, Ka-52s

According to Ukrainian correspondents, Ukraine’s armed forces carried out an airstrike on the Dzhankoi Air Base, perceived as a fortress for the Russian military, in Crimea, which is currently under occupation. Speculation surrounding this nocturnal strike originated from a video making rounds on social media. 

At the moment, details regarding the extent of damage or possible Russian losses are still uncertain. However, we do know the Dzhankoi Air Base is a staging ground for several crucial Russian weapon systems. It currently hosts four Su-25 attack fighters, an S-400 Triumph air defense system, and two Ka-52 Alligator helicopters. In addition, there are at least 10 Mi-8 helicopters and the base also serves as a storage area for various kinds of ammunition and missiles. 

As for the ordnance used in this attack, conjecture from Ukrainian outlets proposes the deployment of  Kamikaze drones or ATACMS cluster missiles. Reliable sources suggest that the strike could have been launched from a distance of 145 km, which falls well within the range of the ATACMS [165 km].

Possible answer

Diving into the ongoing strife between Russia and Ukraine, without delving into the specifics of the Ukrainian attack, it’s apparent that if the estimates of Russian military losses are accurate, this action can be seen as a potential reaction to some of Russia’s recent engagements. 

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to a report by BulgarianMilitary.com on March 22nd. The report spotlighted Russia executing its second most significant airstrike on Ukraine, with one of the strikes ominously landing on the Dnieper hydroelectric plant in Zaporizhzhia. 

Crushing blow of Kh-101 strike on Ukraine's hydroelectric lifeline
Photo credit: Twitter

Fast-forward to April 11th, the Russian forces made a bolder move by targeting the Trypilska TPP near Kyiv. Ukrainian informants at the time reported that the plant fell victim to multiple missile strikes, with the Kh-69 missile being the most suspected culprit, leading to the complete obliteration of the power plant.

Important assets 

Despite the lack of clear information on whether the S-400 and Ka-52 were impacted, these two weapons are key for the Russian military. The S-400 Triumph, or SA-21 Growler, plays a big role in Russia’s air defense. It can handle a wide variety of aerial threats, from planes to ballistic and cruise missiles, and can target and intercept threats as far as 400 kilometers away.

In the Baltics, S-400 air defense systems shoot down Su-27s
Photo credit: DefBrief

The Ka-52 Alligator is a highly advanced attack helicopter that is key in Russia’s ground support and anti-armor actions. It’s heavily armed, with anti-tank missiles, rockets, and a 30mm cannon, making it powerful on the battlefield. The Ka-52 comes with advanced avionics and a unique ejection system, improving the crew’s chances of survival. It can work in all sorts of weather, whether day or night and its great maneuverability makes it an important player in different combat scenarios. 

The Ka-52 Alligator is also valuable for reconnaissance. It can collect intelligence and help identify targets for ground and naval forces, making it a versatile player in the Russian military arsenal. It can work together with other units, sharing data and helping coordinate attacks, which improves the military operations’ overall effectiveness.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russia deploys Su-25s in new strategic attack aviation in West front
Photo credit: YouTube

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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