Air war

over Ukraine



Text: Miro Barič

Photo: Ukrainian Armed Forces

and public sources

Ukrainian soldiers liberated Kupyansk during a surprise offensive in the Kharkiv region.

This article covers the period from September 1 to October 1.

Since the beginning of war, the most important events took place during this month. The whole Kharkov area was liberated,

and the Ukrainian troops achieved important successes in the

Kherson area. The aviation activities were closely tied to

the ground fighting so let’s look at that one first.

The long awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive commenced on August 29 in the

Kherson area. It was launched simultaneously in the north, center and south of

the area. All bridges across Dnieper were

repeatedly hit by HIMARS rocket launchers and therefore impaired the Russian

supplies to the troops on the river’s right

bank. The reinforcements and ammunition

had to be transported across the pontoon

bridges and also in Mi-8 helicopters. The

transport helicopters’ formations were

on these missions escorted by Ka-52 and

Mi-28 combat helicopters. Initially the

Ukrainian advance was slow. They learned

their lesson on the Russian tactics and did

not want to suffer significant losses for the

price of a little territory gain. In addition,

the Ukrainians strictly limited the access

to the information about the whole area.

The Russian propaganda took advantage

of it. Based on the photographs of several Ukrainian tanks knocked down during

the attacks on the Russian fortified position the Russians claimed the Ukrainian

offensive was a debacle where the whole

Ukrainian units were annihilated. On September 4 however these “annihilated units”

liberated the village of Vysokopylya in the

north of Kherson area. The Russian had

transformed it into the heavily fortified

point. Previously it took the Russian tro-

The beginning of the Ukrainian offensive in Kherson Oblast in late August and early September. In the background are

YPR-765 transports, which are the Dutch version of the US M113 machines.


INFO Eduard

Ukrainian soldiers raise the flag in Vysokopylya,

Kherson Oblast.

ops months and weeks to capture similar

Ukrainian positions. The Ukrainians were

able to achieve this in couple of days and in

a similar manner methodically advance in

other places. Since we mentioned HIMARS

rocket launchers, they were used, at least

during the first days of the counterattack,

to hit the first line targets. This happened

for the first time. Until then the Ukrainians

used them exclusively to destroy the very

import targets located deep in the enemy


Counterattack in two directions

While everybody was watching the Kherson

area the Ukrainians unexpectedly hit on

the other side of the frontline, in Kharkov

area. While in the first sector the Russians

had meticulously prepared several lines

of defense in the other on the consistent

line of defense practically did not exist. The

Russian troops were concentrated in the

fortified cities and villages with no man’s

land between them. But more importantly,

there was open space behind them and no

second line of defense. And the Ukrainians

precisely hit this weak point. On September

6 they advanced to Balakliya, an important

transportation center. They did not waste

time by re-capturing the city though, they

rushed further towards Kupyansk. The

Russian troops had to flee Balakliya other-

November 2022