Tag Archives: Eastern Ukraine

This video shows how Malaysia Airline MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile

The Dutch Safety Board released a video which shows how the MH17 flight was shot down by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.

On Jul. 17, 2014 Boeing 777 (9M-MRD) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed about 50NM to the northwest of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) which conducted the technical investigation issued its final report on the crash on Oct. 13, 2015 and determined that the aircraft was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air 9M38-series missile with 9N314M warhead that hit the left hand side of the cockpit (as it appeared to be quite evident based on the puncture marks visible on the wreckage).

The shrapnel fired by the explosion killed the flight crew and torn off the cockpit. The DSB calculated the trajectory of the SAM and determined it was fired within a 320-square-kilometre (120 sq mi) area southeast of Torez.

The DSB, that did not say who operated the SAM launcher: whether the missile was fired by the pro-Russia separatist or not it is still subject to debate. For sure, the report highlighted there was sufficient reason to fully close the airspace over eastern Ukraine, where the MH17 was flying because of the reasons we explained in this post, as a precaution.

The Buk, known as SA-11 (or SA-17) is a self-propelled medium range, medium altitude anti-aircraft system with a maximum range of 13NM and a ceiling of 39,400 feet. With a semi-active radar homing guidance system and a 70 Kg warhead it may hit a large plane at FL330 and cause a catastrophic decompression.

Watch this insanely low-flying Ukrainian Mi-17 helicopter buzz cars on highway

You can’t fly lower than this!

The following video, filmed by a car dash camera, shows a Ukrainian Mi-17 Hip helicopter buzzing the cars on a highway somewhere near Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine’s fourth largest town, in the central-eastern part of the country.

Ukrainian helicopters, especially Mi-24 Hind gunships supporting the war against pro-Russia separatists, mainly operate at very low altitude where they can be more effective but at the same time they become more vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire: several Hind helicopters and many other Ukrainian aircraft have been shot down by MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) in eastern Ukrainian during clashes with Russia-backed militia.

H/T to Foxtrot Alpha for digging up this video


Pro-Russia separatists conducted first air strike in Ukraine using a Su-25 Frogfoot. Maybe….

Pro-Russia insurgents say that they have conducted a first air strike on Ukrainian forces.

According to reports on several news outlets, including the Russian RIA-Novosti press agency, a Su-25 allegedly serving in the People’s Republic of h aviation component attacked a Ukrainian Army convoy which was reinforcing the Ukrainian units surrounded in Delbatseve on Feb. 2.

The news, provided by the spokesperson of the People’s Republic of Luhansk spread through the social media even though Kiev authorities have not confirmed the air strike.

The RIA Agency claims that the Su-25 was captured after the separatists damaged it and forced it to land within their territory last summer.

A video shot by separatists has popped up on Youtube recently: it shows a Su-25 Frogfoot attack plane and an L-29 trainer wheeled out of the Luhansk aviation museum being repainted with the markings of the so-called Novorossiya Air Force and readied for flight ops.

The footage also shows a pilot who introduces himself as a Georgian volunteer who joined the pro-Russia militia fo fight fascism. In spite of the claims that the aircraft could reach Kiev and the scene of the jets carrying bombs and rocket launchers, and taxing at the museum, it is almost impossible that a quite obsolete Su-25 or L-29 plane could be brought back to operational status and readied for combat missions is at least scarce.

Besides the propaganda purposes of the video, there is someone who believes the Su-25s got a new paint and some media hype to act as a decoy for a direct involvement of Russian Air Force Frogfoot jets in the conflict: according to such speculations, Moscow’s Su-25s could freely operate in eastern Ukraine pretending to be some of the jets resuscitated at the Luhansk aviation museum and operated by the self-proclamed NAF.

Furthermore, SputnikNews said that two Ukrainian Su-25s were shot down on Feb. 3 in the Delbatseve area, a report that has been denied by Kiev. Anyway, due to the large extent of losses and general bad shape of its fleet, the Ukrainian Air Force activities in the eastern part of the country have significantly decreased. According to some reports the Russians have created an umbrella of air defenses, which prevents the Ukrainians from flying over the territories controlled by the separatists.

Written with David Cenciotti

Image credit: Ukrainian Air Force


Watch a Soviet-era Battlestar Galactica spacecraft-like reconnaissance drone launched by Ukrainian forces

An interesting video shows the Ukrainian forces launching Soviet-era Tu-143 reconnaissance drones.

Some months ago we published some pictures showing an almost intact Tu-143 Reys drone, recovered, almost intact, in a field by the pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine.

Here is an extremely interesting video showing the Ukrainian military extract the Tu-143 from the launching truck, prepare and finally launch the spacecraft-like drone.

The Tu-143 is quite similar to the Tu-141, even though substantially smaller. It has an operative range of about 60 – 70 kilometers and a low-level flight capability.

It is truck-launched and recovered by means of a recovery-parachute, deployed from a hatch on the upper side of the rocket’s rear fuselage.

Powered by  a TR3-117 turbojet with 5.8 kN (590 kgf, 267 lbf) thrust it can reach an altitude of 5,000 mt (16,400 ft) and a top speed of 950 km/h (580 mph). It can carry both photographic and TV sensors with datalink capability to transmit live data to the ground control station.

H/T Brian Ostrander for sending the link over


[Photo] Pro-Russia separatists have shot down another Ukrainian Mig-29 Fulcrum

Luhansk fighters have shot down another Ukrainian Air Force Mig-29 Fulcrum

On Sunday Aug. 17, pro-Russia separatists have shot down another Ukrainian Air Force Mig-29 Fulcrum in East Ukraine. The aircraft has been identified as “White 53”.

This is the second Ukrainian Mig29 assigned 40th Tactical Aviation Bde, Vasylkiv AFB, shot down in the last weeks: another Fulcrum, identified as “Blue 02” was downed on Aug. 7.

According to the spokesman for Kiev’s military operation Leonid Matyukhin, who spoke to Ukrainian Channel 5, the pilot ejected and was taken to a safe place.

Indeed, images of the ejection seat, along with parts of the wreckage appeared on several Russian media outlets and forums.

Mig-29 shot down wreck

Image credit: militarizm.livejournal.com/

H/T to Babak Taghvee for posting the link to the images with some details about the plane on ACIG forum.