War in Ukraine

Ukrainian Mi-24 Gunships Slipped Across The Border With Russia To Carry Out Attack On A Fuel Depot

An impressive raid was carried out by the Ukrainian Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters on an oil facility in Belgorod, Russia.

According to reports surfacing early on Apr. 1, 2022, at least two Ukrainian Mi-24 gunship helicopters sneaked inside the Russian airspace to carry out an early morning attack on an oil storage facility in Belgorod, located about 25 miles north of the border and 50 miles from Kharkiv.

If confirmed, the raid would represent a significant achievement for the Ukrainian forces: it would affect Russia’s fuel stocks close to Kharkiv, under siege since the beginning of the invasion, but also have a psychological effect on the Kremlin, getting increasingly frustrated by the setbacks in their “special military operation”.

The videos posted on social media speak for themselves.

The tactic used by the Ukrainian pilots is pretty clear: they have flown at ultra low level to avoid detection by the Russian Aerospace Forces radars until they have reached the target area, where they have used what appears to be S-8 unguided rockets, before egressing the area at low level. It would be interesting to know whether the Mi-24s got some sort of aerial support during the raid, although it seems more likely that they carried out a solitary mission, as the presence of other assets flying close to the border would have alarmed the Russian air defenses.

Still, the raid is quite impressive, as it was carried out inside what is believed to be highly defended airspace: since it was not first time the Ukrainians targeted depots in Belgorod, it’s possible that the Russians were expecting a ballistic missile attack, rather than a raid using manned aircraft inside their territory.

Whatever, if confirmed (as Tyler Rogoway at TWZ pointed out it could be a false flag, although at the moment nothing points in that direction) the air strike shows the Ukrainians can find creative ways to counter-attack not only within their territory but also inside Russia. And, above all, the successful operation once again proves Ukrainian fighters, helicopters and drones, continue to operate with a certain freedom in the skies over Ukraine.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.
David Cenciotti

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Show comments

View Comments

  • They are Russian attack helicopters painted to look like Ukrainian. A false-flag on April fool's day.

Recent Posts

The Italian Air Force Has Deployed Its Two F-35Bs To Iceland For The First Time

Along with the four F-35As supporting NATO's Icelandic Air Policing, the Italian Air Force has…

5 hours ago

Czech Republic Eyes F-35 For Gripen Replacement – Reports

According to local media the Czech Minister of Defense is considering the F-35 to replace…

2 days ago

ETAP-T 2022 – The European Tactical Airlift Program Training

Everything you need to know about ETAP-T 2022. From Jun. 6 to Jun. 17, 2022,…

2 days ago

France Retires ‘Legacy’ Mirage 2000C RDI Fighter Jets

The older Mirage will be replaced by the Rafale, while the Mirage 2000D and 2000-5F…

2 days ago

Antidotum Airshow Leszno 2022: The Biggest Airshow in Poland This Year

Leszno: A growing gem of the European air show calendar. We’ve been worryingly observing the…

4 days ago

Spain Has Ordered 20 New Eurofighters To Replace Part Of Its Legacy F-18 Hornets

The Halcón agreement, announced at the ILA air show in Berlin, will see Spain receive…

5 days ago