The Armed Forces of Ukraine are skeptical about Russia launching another airborne assault on Kyiv, similar to the one it attempted in February 2022, Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat, told Ukrainian TV broadcasters on Jan. 16.
Back then, a group of transport and attack helicopters managed to reach the town of Hostomel in the northwest outskirts of the Ukrainian capital. After the airport in Hostomel was swiftly captured, 18 Russian Il-76 transport planes were supposed to land there, bringing in a much more substantial force that would threaten Kyiv. However, a successful Ukrainian counterattack prevented the aircraft from landing and forced them to turn back to Russia.
If Russia was unable to pull off such an audacious operation in 2022, it will have even slimmer chances of success this year, Ihnat said.
"As for today, it is totally unrealistic... the occupiers didn't succeed back then, and they won't now,” he added.
“They have no chance of landing their Il-76 transport aircraft near the capital. I believe they have no chance of even getting through the Ukrainian border.”