In a previous analysis by our very own Guy McCardle, SOFREP noted that one of Russia’s most significant gaps is its Air Force. With the US focusing on more ways to implement sanctions, Russia has made it more challenging for its military to procure resources. Well, they still have Iran and North Korea, but we are not sure how long this pristine partnership will last.

So, there goes the air supremacy problem.

And without air superiority, Russia is still struggling to stop Ukrainian attacks, especially with US-donated M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). The HIMARS has been strategically capitalized by President Volodomyr Zelensky’s troops, especially during their counteroffensive that started three months ago.

“To achieve air superiority, a fighting force must first employ Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), pronounced “seed.” On day one of the war, the Russians launched a little over 100 ballistic and cruise missiles into Ukraine. Most targets were military infrastructure (radar stations, runways, fixed communications towers). Many American analysts thought this was a low number as our Navy had fired over 320 Tomahawk missiles into Iraq on the first night of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And that’s only one type of missile launched by one service.”

Russia’s reaction to Ukraine’s continued push came in the form of a “cowardly” attack on civilian regions (including Kyiv). However, even though it has caused a stir, as SOFREP noted before, this will not do much to make a dent in the war.

Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst with Oryx, supports this notion. He said that air superiority could be the deciding factor for this war.

“Failure to achieve air supremacy is one of the decisive things that cost Russia their advantage in war.”

When the invasion started in February, military analysts predicted that Russia would begin targeting Ukrainian air defenses and simply pushing their infantry troops as they sabotage supply chains. This is similar to what the US did during the Gulf Wars and Libya. Though Russia attacked some of the Ukrainian air bases, it took Zelensky’s troops less than a month to regroup. Soon afterward, Ukrainian forces attacked Russian helicopters and planes.