Putin humiliated after Victory Day flypasts cancelled ‘due to Ukraine losses’
VLADIMIR Putin’s show piece Victory Parade flypasts were humiliatingly cancelled due to the number of lost in Ukraine, an expert has said.
Eyebrows were raised when the ten flyovers planned for across Russia were mysteriously cancelled due to bad weather, despite there being clear skies.
The May 9 Victory Parade in Moscow, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany, was meant to see 77 Russian fighters fly in Z formation across Red Square.
Putin’s Doomsday jet nuclear command post was also due to take part but while it and some of the fighters took part in the rehearsal, they failed to appear on the day itself.
The Russian tyrant, who’s rumoured to have cancer, watched from under a blanket as only his land forces rolled by.
The Ukrainians claim to have shot down nearly 200 Russian aircraft in the war and photos have shown some of Putin’s most modern fighters in flames after being taken out.
Military aviation expert Babak Taghvaee told The Sun Online the Russians could only spare a small number of planes due to the war in Ukraine.
He said that a Russian source told him “they preferred to not hold the parade with just a small number of aircraft which had clearance to fly”.
“Their biggest weakness which could have been revealed if they had held the air parade was lack of enough SU-34s,” he said referring to the Russia’s supersonic fighter bomber.
Taghvaee, who has written extensively about the world’s air forces, said that Putin expects “perfection” from his air force and would not want to show any weakness.
Justin Bronks from the RUSI military think tank said a lack of the experienced pilots and pressure on the Russian air force led to the flypasts being cancelled.
“Given the pressure to put on a good show given the setbacks Russia has suffered in the invasion of Ukraine, it is certainly interesting that the Russian air force cancelled all Victory Day flypasts on weather grounds.
“It certainly didn’t appear particularly poor in terms of wind, cloud cover or visibility.”
He explained that the experienced pilots needed to fly in formation “will be in high demand for operations in support of the invasion”.
Bronks said the Russian air force has been stretched to the limit flying 200-300 combat sorties per day for well over a month.
That leaves “little spare capacity to pull together all the serviceable aircraft and spares required to do the usual large-scale flypasts”.
Russians themselves have also been questioning why there was no flyovers.
Yuri Fyodorov told the New York Times “there cannot be hurricanes all across the country” adding that bad weather “doesn’t look plausible” as an explanation.
As well as seeing the flyovers cancelled, Putin also saw his victory parade humiliatingly hacked with a message telling Russians they had Ukrainian blood on their hands.
The land parade was also scaled down and the widely expected declaration of war failed to materialise, leading to the traditional show of military might becoming a damp squib.
The Russians were also reportedly unable to find enough of the latest T-80 tanks after around 120 of them were destroyed by the Ukrainians.
In total, the parade was scaled down by 35 per cent, according to calculations by Forbes.
Around 10, 000 troops took part in the parade, down from the 12,000 usually on display, in the wake of the 26,000 Russian deaths in Ukraine.