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17 Apr, 2014 11:32

Maverick MiGs? Ukraine jets give low fly-by to defiant cities

The Ukrainian army is ramping up psychological pressure on regions engulfed in anti-government protests. The skies over cities in eastern Ukraine are resounding to the roar of attack helicopters and fighter jets.

The so-called counter-terrorist operation announced by the coup-imposed government in Kiev is raging on in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

The Ukrainian Air Force has deployed a number of military helicopters and fighter jets, which have taken to the skies above the cities of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk in the rebellious Donetsk region.

The authorities in Kiev of course realize that using military aviation against civilian protesters, the absolute majority of which remain unarmed, would be utterly insane.

So, an original ‘solution’ was found on how to make use of fighter jets to fight the mutiny in the Russian-speaking regions of the country.

Ukrainian pilots are now burning tons of expensive aviation fuel to frighten rebellious cities into compliance by roaring fighter jets above the heads of the activists.

Ukrainian servicemen look at a Ukrainian military jet fly above them while they sit on top of armored personnel carriers in Kramatorsk April 16, 2014. (Reuters/Maks Levin)

Curiously, one fighter jet filmed scaring people has been identified as a MiG-29 from the former Ukrainian Falcons aerobatic group. It was easily recognizable by its unmistakable blue-yellow insignia. This raised speculation on the internet concerning the state of the Ukrainian Air Force, with some social media users jeering that “the only operational” Ukrainian jets were used in aerobatics.

The Ukrainian Falcons team was disbanded in 2002 after a tragic crash at the Sknilov airshow near the western Ukrainian city of Lvov, in which 77 people, including 28 children, were killed. Following the investigation into the disaster, two pilots and several officials were sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

Video still from video by vk.com user Vasily Petrov

It must be noted that just several weeks ago the Kiev authorities announced a nationwide fund to supply the country’s army because it turned out that the troops are not only undersupplied and armed with outdated weapons, but also simply don’t have enough fuel to operate military hardware .

Commentators on the videos demonstrating the might of the Ukrainian Air Force note that during the years of independence Ukrainian authorities were somewhat lax in supplying enough fuel for training combat pilots. Now it appears that Ukrainian pilots are trying to make up for lost time by performing the kind of risky stunts they were deprived of for so many years.

Still from RUPTLY video

Still from RUPTLY video