decorated as well. During the attack on
the Ozerne airport in Zhitomir region he
drew the enemy fire on himself to enable
the other airplanes to fly to safety. He was
shot down during this action. These two
events are older news, taking place prior to the last month. During the reporting
period however the loss of Maj. Oleksandr
Kukurba, Su-25 pilot form 299th brigade
of the Tactical Aviation can be confirmed.
In April he was decorated as Hero of
Ukraine and was killed on July 26 during
his 100th combat mission.
The losses mounted on the Russian side
as well. On July 17 the Su-34 carrying bort
number red 51 and code RF-95890 was
shot down near Alchevsk in Luhansk region. Highly probably it was hit by a friendly
AA fire and the gossip goes that it was the
first confirmed combat “success” of the
S-400 system. Two days later, on July 19
another Sukhoi was shot down near New
Khakhovka in Kherson region, this time by
the Ukrainian AA fire. The exact type remains unknown, but a pilot ejected before
the airplane crashed.
Also, several Russian drones were destroyed, and the images appeared of the
Russian Su-25 and Su-30SM wrecks
which had been shot down earlier but not
recorded. The Ukrainians also claimed
hits on several Ka-52 helicopters. During
the weekend of August 13 and 14 three of
them were supposed to be shot down. Only
two helicopters of this type can be confirmed to have been hit, however. According
to the Ukrainians the experienced pilot,
Col Vassilyi Kleshchenko supposedly died
in one of them. On May 9, 2021, he led the
helicopter formation during the Red Square military parade. An interesting trend
in the significant drop in the Russian
attacks by the ballistic cruising missiles is
After the attack on Saki airbase the
Russians, as always took revenge by shelling the Ukrainian civilian targets – even
though they themselves stated Ukraine
had nothing to do with it. They took the
same course of action after the loss of the
cruiser Moscow or blown-up ammunition
dumps, caused by “unfortunate accident”.
At that time the Ukrainian cities were targeted by the salvos of the guided missiles launched from the bombers. This time
the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets, on
the opposite bank of Dnipro River across
the Zaporozhiye nuclear power station
were bombarded. The unguided missiles
launched from the Grad rocket launchers were used. For over a month the
Russians did not fire a single Kh-22 rocket
even though previously they used these
antiquated missiles from 1960s at a large
scale. Only after the second attack on Crimea, on August 16 they fired two Kh-22
rockets from Tu-22M3 bomber at the region near Odessa. Maybe they found them
forgotten somewhere … The more modern
missiles are being used less and what is
important that the Ukrainian AA defense
managed to shoot down more and more of
A storm arrived
On August 29 it did happen. Announced
long before the Ukrainian counter-offensive was launched in the South in Kherson region. The Ukrainian troops started
to advance simultaneously in three directions and at majority of locations they managed to breech the first, in some places
even the second line of Russian defense.
Several villages were liberated for example
Vysokopylya in the North of the Kherson
region. It was fortified and it was supposed
that the Russian elite paratrooper units
could hold it for a long time. Ultimately,
they were chased away by the Ukrainian
troops which, according to the Russian
propaganda were crushed right after they
launched the attack. The best answer to
it was that the Ukrainian crushed the
Russian defense. HARM rockets limited the
Russian AA defense to the point that the
Bayraktar TB2 drones could freely operate again. New videos they recorded show
how they destroy the Russian equipment.
The Air Forces of both sides were highly
active attacking at the frontline especially
in the central sector of the Kherson region where the Ukrainians scored some success. HIMARS rockets repeatedly hit and
eliminated all bridges over Dnieper River.
Thanks to this they prevented supplies
Wreck of the shot down Russian drone Orlan-10
of reinforcements and ammunition as well
as retreat of the Russian troops. Those
ended up trapped on the Dnieper right
bank and were fired at while attempting to
cross the river over the pontoon bridges.
In the beginning of September, the Ukrainians took advantage of the fact that the
Russians concentrated all their reinforcements and focus on the South and launched the massive attack on the opposite end
of the frontline – in Kharkov area.
To be continued.
The Russian Su-25 in flight over Ukraine.
Wreck of the Su-34 coded RF-95890 shot down on July 17 near Alchevsk.