Ukrainian Air Force on high alert, standoff with Russia escalates
Several Russian fighter jets and combat helicopters were deployed to assist the blockade of the Kerch Strait. The incident prompted the Ukrainian air force to be put on high alert.
A local source confirmed to AeroTime that the Ukrainian Air Force had been put on high alert by the President Poroshenko during a meeting with the Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council on the night of November 25, 2018. The authorities are now considering declaring martial law.
On November 25, 2018, three ships of the Ukrainian navy were transiting from Odessa to Mariopol harbor when the Russian navy intercepted the convoy as it was trying to pass through the Kerch Strait, under the bridge newly constructed between Crimea and Russia.
When the Ukrainian ships appeared in the waters of the Kerch Strait, locals saw aircraft n flying over the Kerch Bridge.
Two Su-25s Frogfoot ground attack aircraft, armed with an anti-ship payload (either Kh-31 or Kh-35 anti-ship missiles), were scrambled by the Russian military to support the navy operations.
A Mi-8 helicopter was also seen above the confrontation, when the Russian Coast Guard rammed into the Ukrainian tugboat.
Alternate view of Russian Coast Guard vessel (probably the Izumrud) ramming Ukrainian tug boat Yany Kapu in the Kerch Strait today. Izumrud damaged & Yany Kapu disabled. Also a Russian Mi-8 chopper gunship used for transport/reconn. #Crimea #Russia #Donetsk #Ukraine #KerchStrait pic.twitter.com/1lOWRMk1NO— Jake Morphonios (@morphonios) November 25, 2018
Footage indicates the presence of at least one Russian Ka-52 combat helicopter armed with extra fuel tanks and rockets. Several Mi-8 transport helicopters were also spotted, reportedly dropping Russian Special Forces near the village of Zavitne, west of the strait entrance.