About those Russian planes….

Reporting on the Russia-Georgia war, an interesting paragraph in the NYT (emphasis added):

There were unconfirmed reports that Georgian forces had shot down two Russian planes and that its aircraft had bombed a convoy of Russian tanks that was moving into the area.

If this is the case, what does this say of the Russian airforce?

Richard Fernandez points out that

The Georgians have contributed troops to the US campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Georgian military has been rebuilt by US military trainers.

Presently, Hugo Chavez is purchasing Russian fighter jets, claiming that 24 Russian Sukhoi fighter jets have been delivered to Venezuela.

Russian Planes Can Sink ‘Gringo Ships’, said Hugo, fresh from his Moscow trip.

If the Georgians have actually shot down two, maybe Hugo should be asking for a refund.


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14 Responses to “About those Russian planes….”

  1. Anthony (Los Angeles) Says:

    The Russian military has shown itself competent at one thing only: utter brutality and barbarism. If the Georgians can cut off the overland routes into their country through the Caucasus, they might hand the new Tsar’s army a huge humiliation.

  2. GM Roper Says:

    Uhhh, Senior Putin, por favor, donde esta mi plata? Me puedes regresar mi plata!

  3. Pat Patterson Says:

    As much as I have, especially here, argued the case against Russian equipment, tactics and strategy in this case I would wait to find out what type of jet was shot down. In some cases the Russians are still using the Su-24 which first saw service in 1970 and is used extensively in border areas of second rate importance or even another old plane the Mig-24.

    The Russians have been transferring soldiers and equipment to North Ossetia and the border of Georgia for at least two years but it is highly doubtful, considering Russian cold feet vs. the unknown capabilities of the US trained Georgian military, that some of the most modern air assets was sent to the area. They are already in the area and have secure lines of communication by land or by sea. I think the Georgians are due to take some major lumps and lose South Ossetia.

  4. Pat Patterson Says:

    Uh, Fausta the link that Caucasus provided, aside from being a day old, is to a neo-nazi site.

  5. Fausta Says:

    Oh my, Pat. I’ll delete right away.

  6. BJ Says:

    If you have a good memory, you might recall that Serbia, not exactly a military powerhouse, shot down a F117 Stealth Fighter during the Kosovo campaign. Just because the US hasn’t fought anyone with a respectable air defense capability in years doesn’t mean that fighter jets are supposed to be invulnerable to ground fire, particularly in the case of Georgia, which has been supplied by the US and Israel with quite respectable weaponry.

  7. Pat Patterson Says:

    Well, the Serbs managed to only shoot down two Nato aircraft of the hundreds of sorties and that was due to a great deal of luck. The Serbs were able to track a F-117, not a fighter but ground attack, that was too low and too slow for its tactical mission by the Serbs using long-wave radar from the 50’s. But Serbia had been supplied by the Russians, as were the Syrians recently with the latest short band radars and the latest anti-aircraft missiles which seem for the time being incapable of stopping NATO aircraft.

    Plus one interesting item is that the Georgian Air Force currently is being trained in the use of the the Israeli modified F-16 in Arizona and Alaska. Now if those end up in Georgia the Russians will be in a terrible tactical bind. Will they expose their latest equipment to the possibility of another humbling defeat or try to widen the war faster than the tactical edge the Georgian might have in air assets can be used.

    What a mess!

    Some websites, CNN and Atlantic Review, are currently being buried by pro-Russian postings that refer back to Kosovo as a rationale. Except that in 1992, Russia was acknowledged as the successor state to the USSR, and agreed to recognize the territorial integrity of Georgia with no codicils attached. Whereas the UN and Nato via the Dayton Accords did indeed promise to respect Serbian territorial claims in Kosovo but only if the Serbs basically showed that they were not going to kill every Kosovar and the sheep in the country.

    Plus my point was that we simply do not know what type of aircraft were claimed to have been shot down. There are huge differences between fighters, ground attack and attack bombers. And when you are dealing with one country that is essentially 2nd world and capable of generally killing its own citizens we simply cannot judge just how useful their military is vs. someone that is willing to shoot back and has the capability to do so. I suspect that the Russians will fall back on the only tactical success it has had in decades and use Chechnya as its model. Which means it will wage war against civilians and level any point of real or imagined resistance.

  8. Fausta Says:

    What a mess indeed, Pat!

    Please keep us posted on more information.

  9. Pat Patterson Says:

    A very good summary of the strategic situation via a column by Ralph Peters in today’s New York Post. And after finally finding a topographical map of the area the Russian situation is much more delicate than I had initially assumed. Plus I didn’t realize that The Ukraine is resupplying the Georgians which should make the Russophiles in that country really happy.


  10. Pat Patterson Says:

    Ah, time for glasses!


  11. Fausta Says:

    At least two, and possibly four, Russian jets have been shot down while attacking Georgian bases

    Hugo’s going to have a heck of a time trying to get his cash back, for sure! I don’t believe the Russians take MasterCard.

  12. Anthony (Los Angeles) Says:

    Checking the comments under Wretchard’s article at PJM, there are reports the Georgians have severely wounded the Russian general leading the invasion.

    Go, Georgia.

  13. Fausta Says:

    Reuters, Russian general wounded in Georgia’s rebel region “The commander of the Russian troops sent to help separatists in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia was wounded in an exchange of fire with Georgian forces on Saturday, Russian state television reported.”

  14. Anthony (Los Angeles) Says:

    Score one for the good guys.