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How Ukraine's real-life heroes held the line amid Russia's advances as 'Ghost of the Kyiv' is busted as myth

Dr Justin Bronk was affirmative that the Ukrainian fighter pilots held the line for the first few days but it was a 'very un-equal fight'
(Representative Image/Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
(Representative Image/Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

KYIV, UKRAINE: With the heroics of the "Ghost of the Kyiv" now busted as a fictional character and a myth, new research has outlined the real-life heroes of the Ukraine Airforce who defended the advances of Russia's sophisticated warfare, in turn incurring "devastating causalities" during the early days of the war amid disabled air defense system. Ukraine's four MIG-29s were shot on the first day, research by Dr Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow at the RUSI has revealed.

But the heroics of Ukraine's airforce denied the Russian air superiority and bought enough time for the ground forces to relocate their surface anti-aircraft missiles and overcome electronic warfare. "Certainly in that period, Ukrainians took significantly greater losses in return than they inflicted, which is no surprise given the huge technical disparities," Bronk told the Daily Mail.  


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Bronk was affirmative that the Ukrainian fighter pilots held the line for the first few days but it was a "very un-equal fight," he said, adding that it was due to the equipment being "so different." Bronk explained how the electronic warfare or the huge jamming gave an advantage to the Ukrainians, "Essentially the Russian communications on the ground and in particular just weren't really being able to cope with the kind of chaos that was unfolding among their forces."

He continued, "and the fact there was a lot of EW-electronic warfare going on jamming large parts of the spectrum or at least disrupting it exacerbating huge communications problems their own forces were having on the ground." This, he explains led Russia to step down giving Ukrainian forces a window to relocate their defenses and reposition for more advances.

"And so very quickly after the second day, the Russian Electronic Warfare starts to be step down. They start doing much, much less in the electromagnetic spectrum, which in addition to the Ukrainian air defenses on the ground having by this time, repositioned. So that in conjunction meant that on the third day going forward for the rest of the week Ukrainian ground forces came back to be more defensive than they have been," Bronk told the outlet. 

Bronk said Russin was doing better at the time but Ukraine needed to hold o and not let its SAMS deplete which could be disastrous and lead to Russian fighterjets roaming at shoulder heights over Ukranian territories.  "Russia is doing better than Ukraine in the air at the moment. There is a sort of ascendency around the frontlines because essentially both sides can not operate because of the other side's ground base air defenses. Both have capable base air defense and surface-to-surface missile systems," Bronk said. "Russia has probably a degree of localized air denial advantage near the frontlines but in terms of the ability to roam over large sections of Ukraine, it is still denied to them."

He continued, saying Ukraine needs to keep the sky clear. "If those Ukrainian SAMS are allowed to run out of ammunition or kind of depleted then there is a real risk that the Russian airforce gains the capability to operate medium altitude in numbers over the Ukrainian frontline positions and essentially do what they did in Syria which was operate above the reach of shoulder fire. So essentially in the medium to longer-term Ukraine really needs to keep the sky clear of Russian or western air fire crafts because they need to have that threat in being. You wouldn't need a large number of them but they are able to threaten Russian fighters from a similar range even from low altitude Russian fighters can't fire in in order to push them back".