Military Aviation

Russian Heliborne Assault on Antonov / Hostomel Airport seems to have Failed

Not only that the VKS paid a hefty price just to bring the airborne troops to their target (it lost 6-7 helicopters, including two confirmed Ka-52s), but then the expected para-jump didn’t take place.

Well, it seems the Russian heliborne assault on Antonov/Gostomel/Hostomel Airport, 15km NW of Kiev, ended in a complete catastrophe.

Not only that the VKS paid a hefty price just to bring the airborne troops to their target (it lost 6-7 helicopters, including two confirmed Ka-52s; several of these to Ukrainian MiG-29s), but then the expected para-jump didn’t take place. Obviously, the Ukrainian air defences are still up, and the Russians couldn’t fly in the expected 18-20 Il-76s.

The Russian VDV held out as long as supported by their air force, this afternoon. But, later on, the 4th Rapid Response Brigade of the Ukrainian National Guard counterattacked with support from the Ukrainian Air Force (the photo in this post shows an Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-24M bombing the Russians there).

What was left of the VDV was then finished by the 45th (Ukrainian) Spetsnaz Brigade: few survivors scattered and run away into the nearby forests.

As we have previously explained, in the framework of the invasion carried out by Vladimir Putin’s government a confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian troops took place at Hostomel airport in the vicinity of Kiev.

Hostomel is known as Antonov Airport as it was built by the aircraft manufacturer and is used as a test site.

As reported by, Hostomel is also home of the world’s largest and heaviest aircraft ever built, the Antonov AN-225 Mriya. Various media outlets and social media accounts have reported that the massive cargo aircraft was destroyed when the hangar housing it caught fire.

But in the afternoon of Feb. 24, 2022, Dmitry Antonov, chief pilot of Antonov Airlines, owner of the AN-225, assured that the Mriya is intact with a post on his Facebook account.

The Strategic AirLift International Solution (SALIS) is based at Hostomel too. SALIS is a programme created to provide unique air transport capability (outsized cargo) for its participating nations. Currently, a group of nine NATO Allies (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) are benefiting from the programme.

Check out Helion & Company website for books featuring interesting stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper.

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialisation in Middle Eastern, African and Asian air forces. As well as authoring and co-authoring 560 books and over 1,000 articles, he has co-authored the Arab MiGs book series – a six-volume, in-depth analysis of the Arab air forces at war with Israel, in the 1955–73 period. Cooper has been working as editor of the five @War series since 2017.

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