A NY Times extended piece on the Ukraine military Helicopter unit….
Compared with the well-documented ground war in Ukraine, where destroyed tanks and armor have been so visible, much less is known about the aerial war, partly because there is less photographic and video evidence. But Russian jets attacked targets intensively in the first weeks of the war, and Ukrainian and Russian jets battled each other numerous times in the skies above.
Both sides also used helicopters for critical tasks because of their mobility. Russia landed troops in the first days in at least two locations, and Ukraine flew rescue missions into the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol. Yet helicopters have also proved vulnerable as the fighting primarily turned into an artillery war on the open plains of eastern Ukraine, and tasks were limited to firing rockets from Ukrainian lines.
The Ukrainians fly aging Russian-made helicopters — mainly the Mi-8 and the Mi-24, both used as attack helicopters — that were designed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.
“These are helicopters from the last century,” said Oleksiy, who has eight years of combat experience, five of those spent on peacekeeping missions in Africa, holding off guerrilla groups. Their weapons, unguided, Soviet-era rockets, “are very outdated and don’t meet the requirements of modern combat.”…
Ukraine has not publicly requested western helicopters, instead emphasizing its need for sophisticated artillery and tanks. The United States sent about a dozen Russian-made transport helicopters in June that it had originally purchased for Afghanistan before the Taliban took over. In November, Britain said it was sending three Sea King helicopters and promised to train 10 Ukrainian military crews to use them….
The Ukrainian helicopter brigades have all lost men and machines, although how many remains a military secret. But their survival and continued operations a year into the war is a major success, military analysts said….
Bakhmut has been rduced to ruble in the Russian effort to show their leader some sort of ‘gain’ in the conflict….
Actually building German tanks IN the Ukraine?
Off the battlefield, law enforcement officials from the United States, the European Union, Britain and other jurisdictions met Friday in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, including U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who traveled to Ukraine unannounced.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Nearly 4,000 residents are believed to be living in shelters in Bakhmut without enough electricity or water, the city’s deputy mayor, Oleksandr Marchenko, told the BBC on Saturday. “There is fighting near the city and there are also street fights,” he said. Battles have intensified in the city over weeks as Russian forces closed in. “We shouldn’t give it to them is because it will be very hard to take it back,” Marchenko added. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky highlighted Bakhmut defenders in a Saturday speech.
- Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut are running short on key supplies such as ammunition, The Post reported, while Britain’s Defense Ministry said Saturday that Ukraine’s defense of Bakhmut “is under increasingly severe pressure” in and around the embattled city. While Ukraine has sent reinforcements, its resupply routes are becoming more and more limited, according to the ministry’s daily update. Russian forces have not yet forced Ukrainian troops to withdraw from the city and are not likely to be able to “encircle the city soon,” according to the Institute for the Study of War think tank.
- The United States signed an agreement designed to expand information-sharing regarding alleged Russian war crimes, involving Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Romania, Garland said Friday. Meanwhile, American prosecutors are aiding their Ukrainian counterparts to build war crimes cases, including attacks on civilian targets, he said.
- President Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated support for Ukraine and their determination to “impose costs” on Russia, the White House said after their meeting Friday. “The leaders discussed ongoing efforts to provide security, humanitarian, economic, and political assistance to Ukraine,” the statement said.
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited his country’s forces in eastern Ukraine, the Russian ministry claimed on Telegram. He likely visited to assess Russian losses around Vuhledar and possible advancements in the area, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Late last month, the head of the Wagner mercenary group launched a fierce attack against Russia’s military leadership, including Shoigu, accusing them of blocking his requests for ammunition.
- Two civilians were killed after a Russian strike that damaged 11 houses and a high-rise in Nikopol on Saturday, according to the Dnipropetrovsk regional government. Authorities were still assessing the damage Saturday afternoon.
- The United States announced a new $400 million military assistance package for Ukraine that includesmore ammunition for artillery, armored vehicles and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.
- German defense contractor Rheinmetall is in talks about potentially building a tank factory in Ukraine, CEO Armin Papperger said in an interview with German newspaper Rheinische Post and cited by Reuters news agency. The factory could be set up for around $213 million and produce up to 400 Panther battle tanks per year, he said, adding that he hoped for a decision “within the next two months,” Reuters reports….
I AM surprised about no hard push by Zelewnsky for US ‘Black Hawk’ and ‘Apache’ helo’s…..YET
(Turkey, Sweede, Slovakia and Poland have ‘Black Hawks’)
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