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Ukraine: Holding


Ser Scot A Ellison
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1 hour ago, 3CityApache said:

Apparently Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia are going to hand over 70 Mig-29 and Su-25 fighters to Ukraine, after dissasembling NATO equipment from them. The point is to give them the planes Ukrainian pilots can fly, and all three countries still have those post-soviet fighters in their air-force, just like Ukraine. Polish government confirmed they're going to hand over planes, though denied they could operate from Polish airports.

Bulgaria is handing over 16 Mig-29 and 14 Su-25 planes, Poland 28 Mig-29 planes and Slovakia 12 Mig-29 planes.

Also

https://twitter.com/ElinaSvitolina/status/1498351682668965891?s=20&t=CnIhBh_XSZaY5eP3l-Ri8A

Wonder if any pilots from those nations might go on “extended leave” while delivering those planes to Ukraine?

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Assuming those refugees will not want to go home to a Russia-occupied Ukraine afterwards, I wonder if they'd be granted permanent citizenship in those countries? And in the case of Hungary, that might shift the needle quite a lot on the anti-Russian-puppet-ometer, which is bad news for Orban (who already has a very tough election coming up, which he might just lose anyway).

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18 minutes ago, Werthead said:
Assuming those refugees will not want to go home to a Russia-occupied Ukraine afterwards, I wonder if they'd be granted permanent citizenship in those countries? 

Citizenship seems doubtful, permanent stay permits are much more probable I think.

@Ser Scot A Ellison I wouldn't exclude any possibility, someone has to fly those planes to Ukraine anyway.

Edited by 3CityApache
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6 minutes ago, 3CityApache said:

Citizenship seems doubtful, permament stay permits are much more probable I think.

@Ser Scot A Ellison I wouldn't exclude any possibility, someone has to fly those planes to Ukraine anyway.

How huge would it be for Ukraine to achieve Air Superiority over Kiev?

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36 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Wonder if any pilots from those nations might go on “extended leave” while delivering those planes to Ukraine?

My understanding is that Ukrainian pilots are traveling to receive the planes and fly them back. Most of the Ukrainian air force was destroyed on the ground, so lots of pilots are out there, just need planes.

As of this morning, the UK's Ministry of Defence was of the opinion that the Russians have still failed to achieve air superiority, which is why most of their bombings are taking place at night.

Edited by Ran
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25 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

How huge would it be for Ukraine to achieve Air Superiority over Kiev?

Obviously huge but difficult to achieve.

The Russian active air inventory is currently believed to consist of:

  • 15 Su-57
  • 103 Su-35S
  • 200 Su-34S
  • 119 Su-30
  • 172 Su-27
  • 274 Su-24 (ground attack)
  • 193 Su-25 (ground attack)
  • 8 MiG-35
  • 259 MiG-29

So obviously the overwhelming majority of its air forces remain unengaged. Numbers of losses of front-line combat aircraft are unconfirmed, with Ukraine claiming more than 20 fixed-wing aircraft destroyed. The main Russian air fighter involved appears to be the Su-27 and the upgraded Su-35S variant (these are, very roughly, equivalent to a US F-15, but lagging some way behind the modern generation of severely upgraded F-15s), which Russia has ample in stock to continue prosecuting the war before it needs to start deploying MiG-29s (which are very old) or risk their few Su-57s, which are (on paper) the equivalent of the Typhoon or F-22.

70 MiG-29s and older Sukhois are unlikely to make a big dent in that if Russia calls in aerial reinforcements. Of course, Russia might need to start moving aircraft from fields near NATO borders, which would not be something they really want to do.

The bulk of the Russian losses seem to be down to AA fire and ground attack aircraft being hit by Stingers. There was a video a few days ago of what looked like an Su-25 strafing a village at such a low altitude a Stinger could blast it out of the sky with no problem whatsoever. Dedicated fighters usually fly at too high an altitude and too fast for Stingers to hit them, although the Houthis in Yemen claim to have shot down a Saudi F-15 with a Stinger during the war there.

Also, at least one Sukhoi looks like it was destroyed on the tarmac during the attack on Rostov Airbase, and another was reportedly shot out of the sky over Kyiv (part of the "Ghost of Kyiv" myth-making).

So 70 Ukrainian aircraft reinforcing the front could be quite decisive, or they could get overwhelmed fairly quickly, especially since a lot (but far from all) Ukrainian airfields seem to have been hit by missiles or air attacks.

Edited by Werthead
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1 minute ago, Ran said:

My understanding is that Ukrainian pilots are traveling to receive the planes and fly them back. Most of the Ukrainian air force was destroyed on the ground, so lots of pilots are out there, just need planes.

Probably. OTOH, Ukraine waived all entry and visa requirements for foreigners to serve in their International Legion. So it's possible that some Polish pilots might go on "extended leave." Depending on Polish law at least. I read that in Slovakia it is illegal to serve under arms for another country, so their pilots presumably won't be doing this.

 

In other news, yesterday the Ukraine Finance Ministry announced that they would start selling war bonds today to help finance the war effort. Their statement mentioned they were interested in "foreign investors", but I was reading that because of capital controls currently in place it might only be possible for people physically located in Ukraine right now to buy them. Certainly I haven't been able to find any info yet on how to buy them; and I totally would buy some to show my support. If anyone comes across any info on them, I'd appreciate a heads up.

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30 minutes ago, 3CityApache said:

Citizenship seems doubtful, permanent stay permits are much more probable I think.

 

Part of me can't help to think of the 10.000 (at most) Kurdish refugees stuck in the border region between Belarusk and Poland. They were such a huge deal breaker, but the unlike larger number of Ukrainians coz little to no problem for Poland.

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9 minutes ago, Ran said:

As of this morning, the UK's Ministry of Defence was of the opinion that the Russians have still failed to achieve air superiority, which is why most of their bombings are taking place at night.

This is a bit rich from countries that followed similar tactics in previous conflicts. It took like a month to the US coalition to achieve air superiority over Iraq in 1991 and the strong air defense made them to rely on stealth strikes, cruise missiles and high altitude bombing. Serbia gave them similar troubles even shooting down a frigging stealth fighter.

 

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8 minutes ago, Fez said:

So it's possible that some Polish pilots might go on "extended leave." Depending on Polish law at least. I read that in Slovakia it is illegal to serve under arms for another country, so their pilots presumably won't be doing this.

Same here, oficially. Or it requires special permit from Ministry of Defence, granted only under certain conditions.

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1 hour ago, JoannaL said:

Whats up with the UK refugee rules? I just saw in the news that they are now really proud because they will let in family members of in UK setteled Ukrainains? Is this a joke? The EU will grant every Ukrainian entry for 3 years. Meaning Viktor Orban is MUCH more gracious about this than Boris Johnson??

After the last few years you are surprised that the current UK Tory government is xenophobic to the point of idiocy? Their current stance is actually an improvement, earlier they had suggested that Ukrainian refugees apply for temporary seasonal worker permits to enter the UK. 

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9 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

This is a bit rich from countries that followed similar tactics in previous conflicts. It took like a month to the US coalition to achieve air superiority over Iraq in 1991

 

Air superiority was almost immediate -- I think it was declared within a week.

But the difference between Iraq and Ukraine is that the Russians were on the ground from the start, and all without air superiority, much less air supremacy. Because of this they lost transports carrying hundreds of troops, drones have been taking out convoys, etc.

The coalition against Iraq, OTOH, openedwith an extensive, month-long aerial campaign, establishing air supremacy, before the invasion of Iraq began.

Edited by Ran
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10 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

This is a bit rich from countries that followed similar tactics in previous conflicts. It took like a month to the US coalition to achieve air superiority over Iraq in 1991 and the strong air defense made them to rely on stealth strikes, cruise missiles and high altitude bombing. Serbia gave them similar troubles even shooting down a frigging stealth fighter.

Iraq has absolutely massive aerial defences resulting from a decade of war with Iran, the build-up to that war and the fear of another Israeli air strike on their facilities. Ukraine's air defences were not supposed to be on the same order of effectiveness, either in Western or Russian estimations.

Serbia shooting down a stealth fighter over Kosovo has been likened to the American victory at Midway in being such a combination of luck, intelligence and timing that it's almost impossible to replicate in exercises: the NATO Prowlers which had been providing information warfare protecting Allied aircraft were grounded and the F-117A was sent in by itself. Serbia also had intelligence of this from assets in Italy. Finally, the missiles were fired in the very brief window when the F-117A's bomb bay doors were open, which disrupted its stealth signature and allowed the missiles to gain lock. Both missiles missed and detonated away from the aircraft, the first too far away to cause damage, but the second close enough to send the aircraft into an unrecoverable dive (and the pilot was lucky to be able to eject).

Meanwhile, in other news Navalny seems to have won over some of the people observing his trial (including court officials), with audible laughter at some of the witnesses and charges brought against him:

 

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11 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

This is a bit rich from countries that followed similar tactics in previous conflicts. It took like a month to the US coalition to achieve air superiority over Iraq in 1991 and the strong air defense made them to rely on stealth strikes, cruise missiles and high altitude bombing. Serbia gave them similar troubles even shooting down a frigging stealth fighter.

 

Not really a fair comparison. In 1991, Iraq had the 6th largest air force in the world, including have a bunch of MiG-29s. The same planes Ukraine is using now, but they were much more cutting edge 30 years ago. Iraq also had absolutely enormous SAM and AA deployments at the time.

Plus, it was more like two weeks rather than a month. The air war started on January 17 and by January 30 most of the Iraqi air force was (surprisingly) fleeing to Iran.

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