Image Source: NDTV
Several films showing Russian helicopters being shot down by surface-to-air missiles have been made available by the Ukrainian military.
In one of these, which was taken only a few days ago, a Russian helicopter is seen hovering low above the forest line to avoid what will happen next. The smoke trail left by a surface-to-air missile may be used to track its location. The rocket has successfully reached its target in a couple of seconds. When the Russian helicopter hits the ground, it falls to the ground and explodes in a ball of flames.
Several Russian planes have been shot down by Ukrainian troops – like this one, which shows a jet being shot down near Kharkiv – and military experts say there is proof that weaponry provided by the West has already been deployed.
To date, at least 20 Russian aircraft have been shot down in Ukraine, according to Justin Bronk, a research researcher on air power at the Royal United Services Institute. These aircraft include helicopters and fighters. That is far less than the number of aircraft and helicopters downed by the Ukrainian military, which claims to have shot down 48 Russian planes and 80 helicopters. Even the lower figure demonstrates that Russia has failed to establish dominance in the sky.
Ukraine has faced setbacks as well. However, according to the BBC, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that Russia had not yet been successful in eliminating the country’s air defenses and aviation forces. Before the battle started, Ukraine’s military aircraft were outnumbered by at least three-to-one by Russian military plane, which had stockpiled on the Ukrainian side of the border.
As a result of Ukraine’s capacity to keep part of its air defenses operational, Mr. Wallace claims that Russian planes are already forced to fly at night to evade detection.
Shoulder-launched air defense missiles, commonly known as Manpads (man-portable air defense systems), are just one weaponry Western countries have been sending to Ukraine in recent years. Among them are the famed US-made Stinger surface-to-air missiles used against Soviet aircraft during the Soviet Union’s 1980-85 occupation of Afghanistan.
It isn’t easy to get precise figures. Last week, Mr. Wallace told the BBC that the West had already given “thousands” of anti-tank weaponry and “more than a thousand” Stingers to the country. According to CNN, citing a US defense official, the total anti-tank weaponry and 2,000 Stingers provided by the United States and NATO partners was 17,000.
Before the invasion started on February 24, Britain and the United States had contributed arms to Ukraine, with the United Kingdom providing 2,000 light anti-tank missiles (News). According to Mr. Wallace, who was speaking about rumors that they were already being deployed to destroy Russian armored columns, “we have anecdotal evidence to support that.”