We Pulled Ukraine into Shit. They Pulled Russia Next to Them

Two strikes away from knocking silence into the Russian Air Force

Shankar Narayan
6 min readFeb 26, 2024


That’s what I believed — we, the West, gave Ukraine in its quest for freedom.

But nope.

That hasn’t been the case for a very long time. Half of the promised weapons arrived late, and despite having four brigades prepared for a counter-offensive last year, they never received the weapons they were waiting for.

How are you supposed to plan anything when this becomes the case? Do you tell the brigade that the weapons will arrive anytime soon, so they simply need to hang in there and try their luck against the hourly glide bombs dropping over their heads? Or do you order the troops to pull back, cede territory, and risk being blamed by Western media for not being able to withstand the assault?

This is not a simple problem with straightforward solutions. It’s the type of problem that stacks the odds against you, making failure more likely. In times of war, seizing opportunities is crucial; you have to be an opportunist. Without that mindset, you’d just be grinding, struggling to survive each day with the resources at hand.

The west did not ask Ukraine to fight with one hand.

They kept their feet firmly on Ukraine’s legs and forced them to crawl.

And our media never wastes a moment to pin the blame on Ukraine for everything. We dragged Ukraine into deep trouble. However, they somehow managed to pull the Russians right next to them.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet Continues to Shrink

When the war started, Russia had 13 landing ships in the Black Sea. These ships are very important as they “can carry tanks, troops and other cargo to support amphibious assaults, with doors in the bow that open onto land without the ship needing to dock”.

Ukraine destroyed these four ships

Russia utilizes these transport ships to move its goods from Russia to Crimea. Tsezar Kunikov can carry 500 tons of cargo or more than 300 troops. Novocherkassk had a similar capacity. These landing ships are vital tools in facilitating transport between Russia and Crimea.

Russians still have nine landing ships remaining in the Black Sea. Not all of them are fit for service.

And the best ones are gone. In March 2020, when the Russian Navy deployed its ships to assist the Al-Bashar regime in Syria, it dispatched Novocherkassk and Tsezar Kunikov, along with frigates.

Those two ships are out of business. Each landing ship that is destroyed increases the pressure on the remaining vessels, making them more vulnerable to attacks.

The Tapir Class ship, Pyotr Morgunov, is the largest landing ship in the Black Sea. The Russians are using it as a ferry near the Kerch bridge.

If Ukraine continues to bring down these transport ships, as they have been doing since December of last year, Russia will face extreme difficulties in transporting its goods to and from Crimea. They will become more dependent on the Kerch bridge, which in turn will make the entire war hinge on the fate of a single bridge.

So, there is some room left for the Russian Navy to maneuver around in the Black Sea, but the exact opposite is the case with the Russian air force. Ukraine is just two hits away from seriously crippling the Russian air force.

Russia in Trouble

If Ukraine brings down another A-50 early warning aircraft, it will have a huge impact on the battlefield. If Ukraine brings down two A-50 early warning aircraft, Putin will take the next flight, rush to the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing, bend his knee, and ask for help.

It is only a surveillance aircraft, sir…. He would plead.

Russia cannot rebuild an A-50. Not going to happen in the middle of a war. Iran has none. North Korea has none.

China is the only (Russia friendly) country that has similar aircraft.

KJ2000 at 2014 Zhuhai Air Show. Credit : Dany Yu CC by SA-4.0

The KJ-2000 is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by China. It bears a very similar profile to the Russian A-50. However, there is very little chance that the Chinese will be ready to enter the war at this stage. Nevertheless, Putin is likely to ask. Let us hope and pray that European leaders are prepared to keep Chinese Premier Xi in their corner and away from Putin’s influence.

Russia needs the A-50s

The Price tag of the A-50…

$350 million.

For that price, you can buy ten fourth-generation fighter jets. This should indicate the value of the aircraft we are discussing. Early warning aircraft are capable of performing various tasks.

A50's radar system can detect aircraft, cruise missiles, and other aerial threats, providing early warning to Russian forces. The aircraft functions as a command and control platform, coordinating ground operations and directing air defense operations. It is capable of communicating with other aircraft, ground stations, and naval vessels to relay information and issue orders in real-time.

The A50 can also serve as a communications relay node, extending the range of communications between different units and platforms, thereby enhancing overall coordination and effectiveness of military operations.

It is a mobile-command-post in the sky. Very valuable for Russia’s centralized command and control military structure.

How did Ukraine manage to hit the Russian naval headquarters last year with Storm Shadow missiles? One of the most fortified locations in Crimea was struck by Ukraine’s long-range missiles because the Russians are unable to see, detect, track, and respond to incoming aerial threats.

Repeated attacks by Ukraine have destroyed valuable communications systems in the occupied territory, particularly those in Crimea. Russians are already in a situation where they are both bound and blind in Crimea.

That problem was addressed by the A50. Somehow, Ukraine figured out a way to bring down the A50. By definition, this is the type of aircraft that should never be targeted by a missile. But that is exactly what we have been discussing for the last few minutes.

Russia has only six of these aircraft left. Whenever Ukraine brings the next two down, Russia will have no choice but to pull back its air force and prepare for a strong long-range assault by Ukraine on its military assets in Crimea.

Let me emphasize this point strongly in this story: Neither Ukraine nor Russia will win this war if the other side holds air superiority. This war might involve many elements — artillery, drones, infantry, and various other factors. However, it will ultimately be the side that controls the sky that will emerge victorious.

By neutralizing the surveillance capability of the Russian air force, Ukraine is very close to rendering the hundreds of fighter jets in Russian possession far less valuable assets. If it weren’t for Russia’s control over the sky in Avdiivka, Ukraine would still be there, fighting with Russian troops. It was their lack of air control that made it impossible to sustain the fight.

Ukraine is certainly not in a position to achieve air superiority. However, they have also ensured that Russia is only two strikes away from losing theirs.


All of this may seem a bit distant because we’ve been conditioned by the mainstream media to keep focusing on deaths, territorial exchanges, and regurgitating Kremlin talking points.

  • Ukraine cannot sustain itself in this war with its economy in trouble. To revive their economy, they had to neutralize the Black Sea fleet, which they did.
  • Ukraine cannot halt the loss of territory as long as Russia maintains control of the sky. Given the ammunition constraints they face, reducing the size of the Russian air force will restore parity in the skies. This will provide them with the breathing space they desperately need.

We keep failing them.

They keep finding a way out.

There is nothing more to say.



Shankar Narayan

He didn't care what he had or what he had left, he cared only about what he must do.