by UnHerd Staff
Wednesday, 2
March 2022
Video
16:22

Is the Russian war machine broken?

Freddie Sayers asks RUSI analyst Justin Bronk why the Russian airforce is still grounded
by UnHerd Staff

It has been a week since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and one of many unanswered questions is why Russia has yet to make use of the vast majority of its combat aircraft, despite having a huge advantage over the comparatively small Ukrainian air force. The normal routine of a modern war would be to establish air supremacy in the first few days, but most of Russia’s 300 local fighter jets have not left the ground.

Also, why did both of the most talked about and visible strikes in civilian neighbourhoods (Freedom Square in Kharkiv and the TV Tower in Kyiv) both appear to show near misses?

Could Putin be holding back the full might of his military for tactical or political reasons? Or is this failure to launch a symptom of a crumbling Kremlin war machine?

To seek out some technical answers, Freddie Sayers spoke to Justin Bronk, Research Fellow for Military Airpower at the Royal United Services Institute. 

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Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
4 months ago

Major crucial issues are being ignored my the media in the Ukraine conflict, that surely concern the vast majority of the world? I am horrified that there has been no mention of the carbon footprint and emissions of both armies, and the lack of electric vehicles, no covid self isolation or masks. There is no mention of inclusive and diverse personnel in the military, nor of ethnic minorities or LGBT Q+ quota representation, or of non animal clothing fabric and non leather footwear, or the use of animal fat based greasing of rifle rounds?

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
3 months ago

Finally somebody speaks out loud! Indeed, indeed!

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
4 months ago

Thanks for that. More insight gained than from scanning hours of predictable MSM output

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
4 months ago

I think we have all watched too many Hollywood movies and too many videos of the US military. Hitting even large buildings over long distances is still difficult for most militaries. So is feeding and supplying large numbers of troops. In many ways large rivers, deep mud, and lousy weather pose the same problems to modern armies that they did to the Roman armies or Napolean’s armies. I was struck by videos of very expensive modern Russian anti aircraft batteries on tracked vehicles that had become mired in mud, abandoned and then burned by locals.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
4 months ago

Freddie’s interviews are always great and he always asks the right questions. Also great that he is skeptical about some of the headlines in Western MSM.

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
4 months ago

Excellent interview. So informative. Such a knowledgeable guest.

Saul D
Saul D
4 months ago

Good interview. It hints at a possibly the Russian military doesn’t support its leader, in which case the leader won’t last very long.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
4 months ago

How about – Putin showing his disdain for the Ukrainian armed forces so he just use 2nd line units and he misjudged the morale of his troops and his “enemy”? Also the shelling of ethnic Russians areas could turn many of them into “Proud Ukranian Citizens”. Certainly there seems to be phone-footage of ethnic Russians saying “But I am Ukrainian Citizen – now B*gg*r Off!).

Last edited 4 months ago by Doug Pingel
Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
4 months ago

Thr Russian defefense minister declared air superiority over the weekend. You are reporting on Western propaganda information. As Russia takes more territory the propaganda will switch from the ineffectiveness of the Russian military to the evil brutality of the Russian military. In fact that trend has already begun. You are behind the curve Freddie. This interview should have been about Russian war crimes and brutality of Ukranian civilians

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
4 months ago

so knowledgeable – fascinating interview, many thanks

John Urwin
John Urwin
3 months ago

Very informative and the reason why I read Unherd. Thanks