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12 Aug. 2023

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Why does russia not abandon its attempts to destroy the Ukrainian airbase in Starokonstantiniv?

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Why does russia not abandon its attempts to destroy the Ukrainian airbase in Starokonstantiniv?

Recently, the russian occupiers have increasingly started to launch missile strikes against Ukrainian airbases located in the western part of the country. Read more about what goal the enemy is pursuing by attacking airfields

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The air base in Starokostiantyniv (Zhytomyr region) has already survived several russian missile attacks, including strikes with aerial ballistic weapons. Why the invaders are trying so hard to destroy the Ukrainian air base in the western part of the country, we will explain below.


Starokostiantyniv is located not far (about 40 km) from the city of Khmelnytskyi. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, russian troops have repeatedly tried to attack the airfield, but these attempts continue to this day.


One of the most powerful attacks on the Starokostiantyniv airport took place on August 5-6. The aggressor country's troops launched three waves of attacks using kamikaze drones, Kalibr missiles, and Kinzhal air defense missiles. At the time, the Ukrainian Air Force reported that most of the enemy targets were destroyed by the Air Defense Forces.


It is worth noting that russian troops have recently begun to attack Ukrainian airfields more frequently. For example, on August 11, enemy ballistic missiles flew towards Ivano-Frankivsk region in an attempt to strike the Kolomyia airfield.


Why is russia attacking Ukrainian air bases?


The shelling of Ukrainian air bases has become noticeably more frequent since Ukrainian bombers began using long-range Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG missiles (the same missiles manufactured in different countries - Britain and France). 


The use of these missiles has brought many results for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as it turned out that it is very difficult, in some cases impossible, for russian air defense to shoot down these targets. In this regard, Ukrainian aircraft began to hit strategic targets (bridges, bases) in the deep rear of russian troops, which led to a disruption in the supply of the occupiers at the front.


As you know, Ukrainian Su-24 bombers are carrying out cruise missile strikes on russian positions. According to the Air Force, which is published by the BBC Ukraine, the Armed Forces currently have a squadron of such aircraft. And the most painful strikes against the occupiers are carried out by the 7th Tactical Aviation Brigade, based in Starokonstantinov.


This is the reason for the increased frequency of attacks on Ukrainian airfields. 


"Starokonstantinov airfield is a source of concern for the enemy. Not even the airfield itself, but our military pilots who carry out the strikes. You can see what a good "pop" is happening in the occupied territories. That's why this airfield was in the crosshairs," commented Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, on one of the russian attacks.


Russian strikes do not bring results?


From a practical point of view, russian attempts to destroy Ukrainian aircraft stationed at air bases with missiles are rather questionable. Experts come to the same conclusion.


Aviation researcher, historian, and military analyst Mykhailo Zhyrokhov, quoted by BBC Ukraine, explained that since the beginning of the war, Ukrainian aircraft, including Su-24 tactical bombers, have been leaving airbases immediately after the alarm goes off and taking off.


"For russia, the main target is the airplanes. But they cannot hit them. The russians hit an empty airfield, and if it is impossible to land on it, the planes land on another," he says.


As the German newspaper Bild recently reported, Ukraine is protecting its Su-24 fighters in several ways, including moving them from airfield to airfield every 24 hours. To do this, the Ukrainian Armed Forces could restore all Soviet-era air bases and use new secret runways, into which some roads have been converted.


In addition, the air bases are protected by the most advanced air defense systems that Ukraine received from the allies, such as Patriot and Iris-T.


We wrote that one in three Ukrainians very often encounters information about problems in the Armed Forces that prevent the military from effectively performing their duties. Here, we tell you what Ukrainians consider to be the main problem in this regard.



Photo: Tactical Aviation Brigade 




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