The Romanian Navy has recovered the wreckage of the Bayraktar drone number 75 from the sea.
and Mi-17 helicopters.
The plan was a brainchild of Major General
Budanov, chief of the Defense Intelligence.
Helicopter pilots were to fly 100 km over the
enemy held territory at night and 5 meters
above ground to deliver the medicine and
ammunition to Mariupol defenders and evacuate those seriously wounded. Several pilots refused to fly the mission but then the
first volunteer showed up. He had a personal reason – his wife
was a nurse tending to
the wounded in the steelworks underground,
so she was to be evacuated together with
The first flight was postponed several times
from the fear of being
discovered by the enemy. Finally, two helicopters delivered to
the defenders the AA
Stingers and anti-tank
NLAW as well as the
A Ukrainian Mi-8MSB shot down during an evacuation flight from
the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.
satellite system StarRisky evacuation missions
Among the older losses, about which we
learn details only now, belong the Ukrainian helicopters destroyed during the supply
flight into Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.
Previously the Ukrainians obviously tried to
keep them secret as much as possible but
after Azovstal’s surrender the reason vanished. From April to mid-May there were in
total seven such missions flown by 16 Mi-8
Russian OFAB-250 bomb with a cynical message about help for Mariupol.
link enabling the internet connection.
The majority of these seven missions were
flown by a pair of helicopters. Only one mission was flown by four Mi-8 together even
accompanied by a Mi-24 in the case they needed the fire support. On this mission they
evacuated around 40 wounded defenders.
The flights took place mostly at night with
the help of night vision instruments. On the
way to the destination, right before crossing
the frontline the helicopters landed to refuel.
At steelworks they always picked the landing spot with the least debris. They stayed
15-20 min on the ground with engines and
rotors ready for an immediate take off. They
did not deliver only food supplies, medicine
and ammunition to Azovstal but also several
tens of soldiers who volunteered as a reinforcement.
Each flight took a different route in order to
avoid detection. Some missions were flown
partially over the sea. On the fifth mission
the Russians will have already learned the
situation and shot down one helicopter. On
the last, seventh mission one helicopter
crashed. It was decided to send a SAR helicopter, but the Russians were expecting it
with the portable missiles and shot it down.
It crashed right next to the helicopter wreck
it had tried to help.
Supplies from Allies
Ukraine manages to replenish the airplane
losses, at least partially, with the help of the
Allies. In the beginning of war Kiev requested the aircraft supplies from the West. The
transfer of Mig-29 fighters from Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia was considered but Washington was afraid of the conflict escalation
and these initiatives faded away. Ultimately
the aircraft supplies were gradually started
including Mig-29s, even though in a different
form. Approximately twenty of them reached Ukraine but not airworthy, they will be a
source of spare parts to repair the Ukrainian
AF fighters. Thanks to it Ukraine could increase the number or their combat aircraft.
The supplied aircraft originate in Moldavia
where in 1997 the USA bought 21 Mig-29s.
There were single seaters of the Izdeliye
9-13 version and two-seaters of the Izdeliye
9-51 version. The reason for this purchase
was to prevent the sales to unwanted customers. For example, Iran or North Korea are
very interested to obtain the spare parts for
their aircraft. After these ex-Moldavian Migs
were transferred to the USA couple of them
were restored to the airworthy condition and
served as the adversary during the military
Also, 14 dismantled Su-25 fighter-bombers
reached Ukraine. They may have been delivered in April, but the information was made
public only in the end of May. The country of
origin was not officially published but Bulgaria, who had exactly 14 Su-25s, was mentioned. Due to the political reasons, they were
not delivered directly but via USA. Once put