The Russian Federation invading troops have lost twice as many fighter jets in Ukraine as the Soviet Union lost during the war in Afghanistan. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine General Valerii Zaluzhnyi wrote this on November 3 on his Facebook page.
Russia’s losses in the war against Ukraine
According to Zaluzhny, the Ukrainian military destroyed 278 Russian warplanes during the Russian full-scale war, compared to 118 Soviet fighter jets lost throughout the Soviet Union’s ten-year war in Afghanistan. In this war the Soviet Union also lost 333 military helicopters.
The Ukraine’s army chief emphasized that “the war in Ukraine is the same shame for Russia and would cause its downfall” .
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the losses of Russian troops on November 2 increased by 730 troops to 74 thousand in total killed in action.
Russian pilots lack skills
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine says that the Russian army is attempting to recruit new forces among its pilots in the conflict with Ukraine.
“Russian military mercenaries are trying to develop an aviation component that can be used in Ukraine, but the effectiveness and training of pilots using different modifications of the Mi-8 do not allow them to perform their assigned tasks, and the motivation of the flight personnel is negatively affected by significantly reduced, compared to Syria”, the statement reads.
Advantage in the air
If we look back at the beginning of the invasion in February, when Russia took the initiative and initially struck at long-range radar systems and anti-aircraft missile systems that were part of the air defense system. But after first defeats on the battlefields the Russian invading troops did not follow through and then lost the initiative.
A number of air defense systems were damaged, but they did not destroy everything, so Ukrainians managed to achieve air superiority. Perhaps Russians didn’t because they don’t have that experience and their doctrine doesn’t teach their pilots to do that.
As a result, their actions were reduced to launching missions with one or two aircraft. A capable aircraft, but with minimal impact. And when they lost the initiative, Ukraine was able to move its mobile complexes across the battlefield.
Then Ukraine gained the advantage by moving them closer to the front line, and this further limited the ability of the Russian fighter jets to operate, because they got into the range of these man-portable systems.