Murphy's Law: Russia Keeps Bombing Itself


May 13, 2024: The Russian Air Force has been having a bad time in the Ukraine War. While its initial attacks were successful, Ukrainian air defenses quickly recovered and their Russian made SAM (Surface to Air Missile) systems were very effective against Russian aircraft. The reverse was not true. Many Russian SAMs didn’t work at all when launched and others proved less accurate than they were supposed to be. Poor design and manufacturing defects in these missiles were not revealed until they were used. The reverse was not true. The same SAMs in Ukrainian service worked fine. The difference was that, after the Soviet Union collapsed, the Ukrainians began properly maintaining their SAMs, noticed the design and manufacturing defects and fixed them. The Russians didn’t. This was an old problem. Before the USSR’s collapse, jams and jellies produced in Bulgaria kept winning prizes in agricultural contests of the USSR and its Eastern European satellites such as Bulgaria. Soviet judges kept lauding the excellence of Bulgarian jams and jellies until the Bulgarian manufacturers told them they had used exactly the same recipes the Soviets did. I.e., Soviet jams and jellies used less expensive ingredients and were sloppily made.

One side effect of Russian corruption plus sloppy manufacturing is that 21 Russian guided bombs and SAMs landed on the Russian side of the Ukrainian border and caused some damage and an undisclosed number of casualties. One of these errant bombs landed in Belgorod City, the capital of Belgorod Province. That bomb left a large crater in a street and some damage to nearby buildings. The government would not reveal the extent of civilian casualties. The government tried to suppress any news reports of these embarrassing bombings on the Russian side of the border. Ukrainians reported the number of Russian missiles shot down or malfunctioning as they headed for Ukrainian targets. Few of the missiles actually landed on or near their targets. It was no surprise that Russian air strikes were failing on both sides of the border and the Russians could not suppress reporting of what happened inside Ukraine.

NATO is sending Ukraine about sixty F-16 fighter-bombers and these will be dispersed to several different airports and air bases and remain hidden most of the time. While the Russian Air Force is inept, they are not totally useless and will occasionally be successful. Ukraine doesn’t want to take chances with its new F-16s and the Americans have asked Ukraine not to be too aggressive with their F-16s inside Russia. The U.S. fears that F-16 attacks deep inside Russia could trigger a state of war between Russia and the United States. The Ukrainians have plenty of targets along the Russian border and prefer to use Ukrainian made UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for long range attacks inside Russia. 





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