These are videos with testimonials from combatants who participated in the Battle of Hostomel Ukraine 2022.
On the morning of February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in a speech on state television. The objective of this operation was the final denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine. Russian forces began their assault by using bombs and cruise missiles to target both military and civilian infrastructure, with the goal of preventing any resistance from Ukraine.
Troops from Russia crossed into Ukraine in several regions. There were two axes of attack: one from Belarus, advancing through the city of Chernihiv, and the other through the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Their ultimate destination was the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
On the western axis, approximately 15,000 to 20,000 soldiers advanced, with the plan to destroy the airport in Dommele in advance of the attack. Russian transport aircraft were to then land soldiers and armored vehicles only 20 kilometers away from the center of Kyiv, with the intention of launching a rapid strike against the political and military leadership to decide the war in favor of Russia within a few days.
The Russian Airborne Forces played a significant role in this operation. The core of the airborne operation was formed by soldiers of the 45th Guards Special Reconnaissance Brigade, an elite unit within the Russian Airborne Troops stationed in Kubinka, near Moscow. These troops were involved in pro-Russian uprisings in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014, although Russia denied their presence at the time.
The operation also involved units of the 11th Guards Airborne Brigade and the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade. Estimates of troop strength varied, with Russian sources claiming around 200 soldiers, while Ukrainian estimates suggested between 300 and 400 airborne soldiers were involved. The operation included the participation of the 319th Helicopter Regiment for combat management.
Hostomel Airport was one of the key targets for the Russian air landing operation. It was warned about by the CIA in advance, as it was strategically located outside of Kyiv and had a history of being a possible target for a Russian air landing operation. The airport was equipped with concrete walls and barbed wire for security. Ukrainian defenders included the Fourth Rapid Deployment Brigade of the Ukrainian National Guard, although it was understaffed at the time due to troops being redeployed to the Luhansk region.
Ukrainian defenders also included an anti-aircraft battalion tasked with protecting the airport. They had shoulder-fired air defense systems but faced ammunition supply issues. The defenders were supported by additional units, including the anti-terrorist unit Omega, soldiers from the 140 Center for Special Operations Forces, foreign volunteers, and units of the Third Special Regiment of the Ukrainian Special Forces and territorial defense.
The attack on Hostomel Airport included air strikes using cruise missiles and helicopters. The defenders managed to repel some of the helicopter attacks with ground-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft fire. However, the airport sustained damage during the assault, including the destruction of buildings and aircraft.
The Russian airborne forces’ deployment began in Belarus and involved a long flight route to reach Hostomel Airport. Transport helicopters carrying soldiers and equipment were accompanied by attack helicopters. The flight path took them over a reservoir, and the Ukrainian defenders engaged them with anti-aircraft missiles and small arms fire. The defenders managed to shoot down some Russian helicopters, and the engagement resulted in casualties on both sides.
The chaos of the operation and communication issues among Ukrainian defenders complicated the defense. The Russian attack helicopters flew low and engaged the Ukrainian positions repeatedly. The attackers used decoys to deflect ground-air missiles. The defenders faced a sustained and intense assault from the air.
As the Russian columns of helicopters continued their advance toward Hostomel Airport, they encountered resistance from Ukrainian forces positioned around the reservoir. Ukrainian anti-aircraft guns and missiles were used to target the incoming helicopters. The defenders put up a fierce fight, and some Russian helicopters were hit and forced to crash.
The columns of Russian helicopters eventually made their way to Hostomel Airport but faced strong resistance throughout their journey. The defenders’ determination and effective use of anti-aircraft weaponry played a significant role in delaying the Russian forces and inflicting casualties on them.
The operation continued with the Russian troops pushing forward towards their objectives, and the Ukrainian defenders continued to resist the invasion. The chaos and intensity of the battle were documented by local residents and passersby, capturing the ongoing conflict in the airspace and on the ground.
The battle for Hostomel Airport marked the early stages of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, with both sides engaging in fierce combat as they sought control of this strategically important location. The outcome of this operation had significant implications for the broader conflict in Ukraine.
Their trail on the approach over the errant local residents will be back on the helicopters attentively, the following shots show the columns flying over the river.
One attack column orients itself to the south after the overflight, the other column further north. In the background you can now also see the rising column of smoke.
Further footage shows the approach of the southern column to the airport.
The first, a few minutes offset from the second group, can also be seen. On the picture, one of the two Russian search Mi 25’s in overflight from the south.
Why only a search of 25 of the otherwise information flying machines can be seen may have its cause in this, that according to Ukrainian data on that day in the room you have at that time a Russian search 25 were shot down. This video is supposed to show the burning debris of the aircraft. The Russian News Agency also reports the loss for 24 February, one like 25 but does not give any exact information about the crash location. In addition, the machine is said to have crashed due to pilot error, the pilot was able to get away with it.
At around 12:20 p.m., the first Russian transport helicopters were landing at the airport from the south. The first group of soldiers landed directly on the runway, where the burning aircraft were located. They set up a backup position to the East in order to give the following helicopters cover. The first firefights took place in the direction of the flight control tower.
Soldiers lying in security in the direction of the flight control tower. I’m probably staying there at this time Ukrainian soldiers south across the airfield. You can see the second group flying in.
The helicopters of the second group land west on the tarmac and the runway. Many of the soldiers oriented themselves to the east and ran in the direction of the buildings. Other soldiers first sought cover in the terrain and erected a second temporary security position.
During the airborne landing, the attack helicopters tried to secure the soldiers and continued to attack ground targets. For this, they had to fly very slowly at low altitude, which made them vulnerable to Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses. In the following video, you can hear that the automatic warning system of the helicopter is repeatedly warned against detecting with ground air missiles.
Now we can probably see the consequences of these maneuvers in this shot. In the left half of the picture, you can see a column of smoke rising. The shape suggests that it was created shortly before the start of the recording. It is a possibility that the column of smoke is the crash site of a K52 that was there in the immediate vicinity of the plane wreckage crashed on February 24. It also shows the explosion at the end how close the fire support of the Russian helicopters to their own soldiers was executed.
In another video, you can see this position of the Russian soldiers at the parking area. When changing the position of the Russian soldiers can see the column of smoke from the crash site on the horizon. In the following video, you can see how the airstrip and runway are set down. They move to the western outer area on the concrete wall. It can be assumed that Russian soldiers established an all-round security around the entire landing zone.
The helicopters of the northern column land mainly in the middle area of the runway. Soldiers also take up positions there for security. This video shows a group of Russian soldiers taking up position on the northern edge of the built-up airport area. There, you can see them with an 82mm mortar fire support in the direction of the southwest, to the north and south, other groups of airborne soldiers can be seen.
After a large part of the air landing troops had already been withdrawn, Russian soldiers moved in the southern area of the apron to secure the outdoor facilities of the administration building. On the Ukrainian side, the landing operation had not gone unnoticed, and the Ukrainian Lieutenant Colonel Podenco received the information that the air landing had begun. The soldiers of the fourth brigade observed the incoming transport helicopters from their position but could not see what was happening on the ground. Podenco decided to drive an armored vehicle toward the tarmac to reconnoiter the situation at the level of the intersection. They already got enemy fire and rocket fire on his vehicle. There, he already received fire from the direction of the apron. He circled the Antonov hangar once to take up position of his soldiers. As a result, heavy firefights broke out between the Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.
And since fire protection, the Russian soldiers continued to advance, while further explosions through the rocket fire from the helicopters rained debris on them. They even tried to persuade the Ukrainian defenders to surrender. Finally, the Russian soldiers managed to storm the administrative building with the air traffic control tower. A large group of Ukrainian defenders was taken prisoner, the other part retreated to the Antonov aircraft hangar. Here, they still held out for a while until the Russian soldiers also stormed the hanger. The last defenders withdrew to a room below ground, and when they tried to break through to the north, they were ambushed by Russian soldiers. Some of the defenders were taken prisoner here, others were killed in the firefight. By the end of the day, the Russian soldiers had completely captured the airport.