Shift in Russian Tactics Intensifies Air War in Ukraine – Sports Dimond

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The Ukraine war has been fought largely on the ground in the past two years, with troops often locked in back-and-forth battles with heavy artillery and drone support. The countries’ air forces have played second fiddle because of Ukraine’s limited fleet of planes and Russia’s inability to gain the air supremacy it once expected.

But as the Russian military presses on with attacks in the east, its air force has taken on a greater role. Military analysts say Russia has increasingly used warplanes near the front lines to drop powerful guided bombs on Ukrainian positions and clear a path forward for the infantry. That tactic, used most notably in Avdiivka, the strategic eastern city captured by Russian forces last month, has yielded good results, experts say.

It has also come with risks.

“It’s a costly but quite effective tool that Russia is now using in the war,” said Serhiy Hrabskyi, a retired Ukrainian army colonel. “It’s dangerous for them to send their fighter jets” close to the front line, he added, but it can “impact Ukrainian positions effectively.”

The Ukrainian Army last week said it had shot down seven Su-34 fighter jets, nearly all operating in the east, just a few days after downing an A-50 long-range radar reconnaissance aircraft. It was, according to Ukrainian officials, part of a series of successful strikes against the Russian Air Force, in which Ukraine claimed to have shot down 15 planes in as many days.

The majority of the shootdowns could not be independently verified, and a senior U.S. official expressed skepticism at that number. The official said the Ukrainians appear to be taking credit in some instances for planes they fire at but which are not confirmed to have been downed.

Oryx, a military analysis site that counts losses based on visual evidence, and Russian military bloggers confirmed the loss of two Su-35 fighter jets. Britain’s military intelligence services confirmed the destruction of the A-50 plane.

Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow for air power and technology at the Royal United Services Institute in London, or RUSI, cautioned that “overclaiming on kills is a systemic feature of air warfare.”

But he added that Ukraine “has certainly been conducting an increasing number of ambush type engagements” with the help of air defense systems in recent months and has racked up “notable successes.”

After the invasion in February 2022, Ukraine managed to keep Russia from controlling the skies through air combat and the skillful use of antiaircraft missiles. After only a month and heavy losses among its warplanes, Russia stopped flying its aircraft beyond the front lines, RUSI said in a report, turning instead to launching barrages of cruise and ballistic missiles from afar.

But that left Russia “unable to effectively employ the potentially heavy and efficient aerial firepower” of its fighter-bombers to strike Ukrainian frontline positions, the report said.


  • Sylvia Miller

    Hello everyone, I'm Sylvia Miller & I am a high school football content writer and SEO expert. That s why I'm sharing my knowledge with everyone. Also, I mainly work on high school football and try to show them directly to you

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