The American general reduced the losses of the Russians: why there is no zrada here
Last week at a certain military symposium in Colorado, US General James Hecker, commander of the US Air Force in Europe, estimated the losses of the parties in aircraft in this war. According to him, Ukraine shot down more than 70 Russian planes, and Russia shot down more than 60 Ukrainian ones.
Why did the general name such data
The Russians, of course, translated it into Russian. It turned out that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine overestimates the losses of the Russians, because, they say, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are talking about 300+ aircraft, but in fact there are only 70. Let's go!
In fact, the American general simply took the figures from the Oryx website – there are aircraft losses in the ratio of 60/70. Most likely, the general does not know about the existence of Oryx. They prepared a speech for him – he said how they prepared it for him.
Another thing is that the data was taken from Oryx, especially without going into details. The whole problem of calculating losses by helicopters is that we will never see some of them, and Oryx analyzes only documented losses.
Do I believe in 300+ downed Russian planes and 280+ helicopters? Perhaps, Ukrainian air defense officers worked out and hit on such a number of air targets. Part of the boards definitely fell, part – the affected ones were somehow dragged to the airport. Several of them did not make it to the airfield, and we became aware of this as a border accident on Russian aircraft. However, the Russians will never recognize this as a combat loss, and we will not prove it in any way. Even the Oryx won't count the casualties in the war.
Difficulties in counting aircraft destroyed
Part of the helicopters fell on the occupied territory along the front line. That is, we will see their documentary evidence only after the war. In general, the problem in confirming the loss of aircraft and helicopters is that if the moment of shooting down was not filmed on camera, then you need to look for the wreckage and their photographs. Then it all depends on what and where it fell.
Several of our sides were shot down over the sea, one was definitely from the ship – but there is no confirmation of this. The downed side sank, some debris washed ashore somewhere – it will be difficult to prove something. The same applies to all bodies of water – except for the video of shooting down Russian helicopters on approach to Gostomel at the beginning of the war, there is no evidence.
Part of the video evidence is when the soldiers take pictures of some kind of wild conflagration, where it is even difficult to understand whether it is a helicopter or an airplane. If several months have passed since the fall, then this is a bunch of metal parts scattered over hectares and overgrown with grass and shrubs. In a year it will be difficult to understand at all what it could be.
And we are still talking about the case when an airplane or helicopter reaches the ground more or less intact. If it explodes in the air at a height of several kilometers, then everything shatters into pieces so that it will be difficult to look for some fire or a fuselage with a red star. Just somewhere in the fields a bunch of details will be scattered.
In turn, if you're lucky, they can shoot down on video from MANPADS – and this is an exception. Or a video when they are “knocked down” from the operator's cab of the Osa / Buk / S-300. We have already seen several of these videos. Something is shown on the radar screen, something is flying somewhere – a shot, a pause, an explosion, a point disappears from the radar, they hit, everyone rejoices. This Oryx does not fix. But this is the routine work of the air defense system.
US generals are people who need to be told something
So, there is an American top general who simply quoted figures from the Oryx website, which analyzes open sources. This is not a secret Pentagon report on Russian losses, this is just an estimate from open sources. The real losses of the Russians are many times greater than the losses declared by the general. They are definitely much closer to the indicators operated by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Don't assume that all American generals know everything for sure. Sometimes they are just people and they need to say something. The same applies to Western politicians, journalists and other commentators who willingly comment on the losses of the parties, without having any insiders.