Ukraine Claims It Has Been Resupplied With Air-To-Air Missiles
All the developments on and off the battlefield from the fourth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As the sun rises over Ukraine, Russia's invasion of the country enters into its fourth day. While there have been advances by Russian forces, they appear to have been limited and an expected major offensive against the capital never materialized. While it seems clear that Russia's military operation has slowed, we could be experiencing a 'tactical pause' used to fortify supply lines and prepare for new coordinated offensives. With that being said, here is the best up-to-date information on the conflict we have and we will continue to update this post until stated as part of our ongoing rolling coverage on the conflict. To get up to date on our most recent past coverage, click here.
We have finished our updates to this piece and you can find our continuing rolling coverage of this conflict here.
UPDATE: 6:00 AM EST—
Things have really picked up in the last few hours.
Ukraine says they have been resupplied with air-to-air missiles. Considering they use Russian-types, this must-have come from an Eastern European NATO ally with stocks of these missiles:
“Our Western partners for the aviation of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have received a large batch of air-to-air missiles, which are already under the wings of our fighters. The pilots assure that there will be enough for all the occupiers!
There was this strange flight of three Ukrainian Il-76s to Poland on the evening of the 24th that could have been part of such an operation. Poland has the right missiles as it still flies the MiG-29 Fulcrum. It would have taken time to have flown these back to Western Ukraine and then distribute them to units closer to the front lines.
Regardless, the fact that Ukraine still has a viable tactical jet force at all is an amazing feat. Whatever accomplishments it has had in the air in the last four days — Ukraine claims many kills — have been personified in the morale-boosting myth of the 'Ghost of Kyiv.'
Ukraine has published a video showing one of their Turkish-built TB2 drones tearing up a group of Russian vehicles arranged on a runway. If the video is authentic, the fact that a TB2 is still operating freely, and especially over a major Russian formation, is remarkable and provides further evidence that Russia has not been able to come close to obtaining air superiority, even against such a vulnerable vehicle. Russia's vaunted electronic warfare capability also appears to be absent from this conflict as the TB2 should be vulnerable in that regard, as well.
Meanwhile, Ukraine says it down a cruise missile launched from a Tu-22 over Belarus:
few minutes ago, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a cruise missile fired at the capital of Ukraine from the territory of the Republic of Belarus by a TU-22 aircraft. This is another war crime of Belarus and Russia.
A snapshot of some of the fighting and some battlefield spoils:
Latest UK public intel assessment that basically matches with what we know:
It looks like major gas facilities were struck in the hotly contested northeastern city of Kharkiv. It seems there was a concerted effort to go after these types of facilities last night:
It is widely rumored that Russian forces have major logistics issues, especially in certain fronts, with troops looking for food and gasoline once they enter towns. Spetsnaz operate more independently so this may not be indicative of this issue, but still, they are helping themselves to a market's goods:
A message from the Ukrainian military about checkpoints:
Zelinsky speaking again:
Ukrainian leadership is getting blunter by the moment:
Claims about low morale/disobedience in Russian units:
Germany is making a sudden about-face when it comes to investing in its military:
This is a big one, UPS and FedEx now say they are going to stop flying to Russia:
A RAF C-17 weapons supply flight had a strange mid-flight turnaround:
Here are the latest combat totals as claimed by Ukraine:
Now we are getting airspace closures to Russian air traffic:
Unconfirmed video of an RPG attack on a T-72:
An apparent drone video still has leaked showing what could be a destroyed An-225 in its shelter. There are some odd aspects to this image, nothing definitive yet, but there are also quite a few similarities to the structure:
It looks like a number of MiG-29s got fully destroyed but it isn't clear if they were airworthy in the first place. Ukraine has a lot of derelict Fulcrums laying around:
POSTED: 4:00 AM EST —
Evidence has emerged of a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack jet having been lost in the fighting, apparently yesterday. Wreckage of the jet, operated by the 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade, which is home-based at Kulbakino, near Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, has been posted on various social media channels, with reports that the aircraft came down in the Kherson region, just north of Crimea, with the pilot being killed, although this is unconfirmed.
There are other reports of two Ukrainian Su-25s lost in the recent fighting, although no evidence of the second has yet appeared. Yesterday we saw an unconfirmed video posted of a Su-25 apparently taking a hit from a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS). That incident was also reported to have taken place in the Kherson region, so could involve the same aircraft as above. The light gray color of the Frogfoot in the video is certainly suggestive of a Ukrainian example, rather than a Russian one, as some have reported:
POSTED: 12:30 AM EST —
As the night wore on, what appeared to of been a massive sustained artillery barrage hit roughly 15 miles south of Kyiv in the hotly contested town of Vasylkiv. The attack appears to have struck the fuel farm at the airbase just north of the town, which has been a huge focus of ongoing fighting over the last couple of days. The loss of fuel could have an impact on Ukraine's military operations and the damage done by the blaze still isn't clear.
(Note: we do not know if the TOS-1 was used, in fact, that is very unlikely, but this is the video of the attack as seen from Kyiv)
The fuel farm next to Vasylkiv Airbase that may be the location of the attack:
Senator Marco Rubio says these were Putin's early goals for the invasion and offers a warning to Russian military leaders:
Meanwhile, mass production of Molotov Cocktails is ongoing throughout Ukraine as the government continues to push them as a key weapon of resistance:
The White House says it is going after the assets such as the homes and yachts of oligarchs now:
Russia says it could strike back over sanctions by pulling out of strategic weapons control pacts:
It may be that the Ukrainian Border Guards who told the Russian warship to fuck off as it approached Snake Island are actually alive:
An update on the status of the An-225, the world's largest operational aircraft, and control over the strategic Hostomel Airfield northwest of Kyiv: In a recent low-resolution satellite imager, at first, the An-225 did not appear where it was on February 23rd, which is the last satellite image we have of it. We thought that maybe it was moved into the large shelter in the short period between when the last image was taken and when the war kicked off. But on closer examination, that may not be the case. It appears to be pointed in the other direction on the tarmac in the latest image taken on February 26th. Much of the fields around the airport are scorched and by most accounts, the airfield is still being contested after a large Russian operation to seize control of it was eventually rebuffed by Ukrainian forces. This could be a trick of the optics as well. Hopefully, it made it to the shelter and is still in decent shape. You can read all about the situation and the An-225's presence at the airfield here.
We will continue to update this post as more information comes available.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com