Ukrainian Commandos Infiltrated Deep Into Russia

Wes O'Donnell
3 min readNov 17, 2022
A U.S. Army Special Forces Operator and a U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Operator assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing prepare for a bi-lateral military free fall with Ukrainian Special Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Izabella Workman) Public domain

The Ukrainians love hunting Alligators.

When the war first started, Russia fielded approximately 100 of the twin-rotor, two-seat Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters.

Today, at least 25 have been shot down by Ukrainian defenders, including four in an 18-minute period.

Russia spent its most experienced aviators early in the war, sometimes sending attack helicopters up to 50 km into Ukrainian territory.

Now, Russia’s less-experienced pilots are easy hunting for Ukrainian defenders who are getting bolder by the day.

Not content to sit around and wait for Alligators to come to them, Ukrainians have now penetrated deep into Russian territory to continue their hunt.

Five hundred kilometers from the Ukraine border, in Pskov Oblast, Russia, there sits a sleepy Russian Air Force base that serves as home to Russia’s 15th Army Aviation Brigade.

Among other air assets, the base operates a fleet of Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters.

Two weeks ago, on Halloween, three Ka-52s exploded simultaneously at the base.

Initially, multiple Russian Telegram channels challenged Kyiv’s capability to pull off such an attack and wrote off the explosions as some sort of accident.

But after video surfaced showing a man in military uniform entering the airfield, wiring the aircraft to explode, and then leaving, Russian commentators had to admit Ukrainian involvement.

And while Ukraine has not taken credit for the attack, (they rarely do when attacking outside Ukraine’s borders) the speed with which Ukrainian Defense Intelligence reported the details of the incident is at least intriguing.

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Wes O'Donnell

Army & Air Force Veteran | Global Security guy at War is Boring, GEN, OneZero | Intel Forecaster | Law Student | TEDx Speaker | Pro-Democracy | Pro-Human Rights