The Russians had a firepower advantage, but the Ukrainians had the benefit of defending their homeland, which included—high-motivation, good logistics, and operating over familiar terrain.
This article by David Axe, writing for Forbes, makes the following points:
- The Russian air force deployed three times as many fighters and attack planes as the Ukrainian air force had in its entire inventory.
- The Russian air attack failed, while the Ukrainian air defences held firm.
- The Russian air force began to lose more planes and helicopters than the Ukrainian armed forces.
- Ukraine’s Buk mobile missiles forced Russian air crews into a deadly, low-altitude trap.
- The Russians were denied air superiority in the battle space, let alone air supremacy
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