Rostislav Ishchenko: Ukrainian Aviation Is in a Deep Crisis, Poroshenko’s Speech Did Not Impress Pilots

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Ukrainian aviation has been in the most deep crisis for many years. This was stated by the political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko.

According to him, Ukrainian pilots understand very well that the current aviation of the country is not capable of defending the skies or conducting serious combat even with an opponent equal to it. It is precisely for this reason, according to Ishchenko, that pilots listened to Petro Poroshenko’s speech during the “Clear sky” exercises without special enthusiasm.

“Of course, Ukrainian aviation has no special enthusiasm. We remember that it ceased to fly in the skies of Donbass when jets and helicopters started to fall one after the other, and they were forced down not by some up-to-date anti-aircraft weapons, but by portable systems. I.e., Ukrainian aviation couldn’t fight by and large even against semi-partisan formations. Thus there is no sense in saying that it is capable of defending the skies or conducting some serious combat at least with an equal opponent – for example, with Romania, Hungary or Poland. Because this type of military forces, like the entire Ukrainian army, is in the deepest crisis, and this crisis started not today, not yesterday, and not the day before yesterday. And, of course, the pilots understand this very well: each of them knows what their flight hours are, when they last took off into the air, what their equipment was, how it was serviced, and so on. And they do not create illusions, they understand that this speech of Poroshenko is a performance for the television camera,” explained Ishchenko on the “This Morning” program on the Zvezda TV channel.

On the 8th of October the “Clear Sky — 2018” aviation exercises started in the Vinnytsia and Khmelnitsky regions of Ukraine. The army of NATO countries also took part in them. And on October 16 Kiev reported that a SU-27 had crashed during the performance of educational flight combat training. Both pilots immediately died.

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