Major Krasnoyartsev's Su-34 was shot down on March 5. The pilot was wounded and fell into captivity.

active. Therefore, the Russian pilots prefer

to fly at very low altitudes to avoid being

targeted. Regardless, they are targeted by

the short range portable rocket systems.

There is another reason why they fly within the range of these portable missiles.

More frequently they use the “dumb” bombs

requiring the optical aiming and therefore

they cannot hide in the clouds but have to

fly underneath them. The Ukrainians who

had received at least 2000 Stingers are not

shy to use them and once they have a Russian aircraft in their range they launch 5-6

missiles at the same time. It must be a real

“joy” for Russian pilots to fly in such an environment.

As per Pentagon’s estimate dated March 11

the Russian pilots fly around 200 sorties


Many times though, afraid of the Ukrainian AA defense, they don’t even enter the

Ukrainian airspace and launch the cruise

missiles from the Russian side of the border. No surprise that even Russians need to

boost their morale. Maj. Viktor Dudin, shturman of the fighter squadron, was awarded Hero of Russia for shooting down three

Ukrainian Su-27 fighters. It was supposed

to happen on February 24, 28 and March

1. Only two losses of the Ukrainian Su-27

are photographically documented and neither corresponds, based on the timeframe

and circumstances, to Dudin’s claims. Besides these three kills (some sources credit

him with the fourth one, another Su-27) on

February 26 he was supposed to destroy

the Ukrainian AA system Buk. Allegedly he

hit it with the missile launched from his low

flying fighter. Another decorated soldier is

Captain. Alexei Pankratov, commander of

the AA missile division. On February 28 he

supposedly shot down a Ukrainian Su-25

and three Bayraktar drones. Next day he

was to increase his score by another two

Bayraktars shot down. Again, neither of

these claims could be confirmed.

Obviously the Russian AF has achieved

confirmed successes. On Thursday, March

3, the unique encounter in the open sea took

place. The Ukrainian patrol boat Slovyansk

was conducting a reconnaissance mission

south of the port of Odessa when it was hit

by an air-to-ground missile launched from

a Russian aircraft. The boat sank and the

whole crew of 16 sailors is MIA. Slovyansk's

original name was USCGC Cushing belonging to the Island class. In the 1980s there

were 49 built for the US Coast Guard. The

USA donated four of them to Ukraine. Slovyansk entered service for the new owner

in 2019. Its length was 34 meters and displacement 170 tons. The armament consisted of one 25 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm

machine guns.

“Black Friday” of the Russian AF

Wreckage of the Su-34 that was shot down on March 6.


INFO Eduard

From March 4 to 6 the Russian AF suffered

exceptionally bad luck. On March 5 only the

Ukrainians claimed 10 Russian aircraft destroyed. Not all of these claims have been

confirmed but in the course of three days

the Russians altogether lost 6 aircraft,

6 helicopters and one reconnaissance drone. First, on Friday March 3, they lost two

ground attack Su-25, one transport helicopter Mi-8 and one attack helicopter Mi28. The hard luck continued on Saturday

with the loss of two Su-34 and one Su-

April 2022