There was one hell of a lot of Russian airpower flown over Crimea for Putin's Victory Day visit to Sevastopol yesterday. Virtually every type of aircraft in the Russian Air Force made an appearance, including their most potent attack aircraft, the Su-34 Fullback and \the Tu-160 Blackjack.
Still, the Black Knights and Swifts Su-27 and MiG-29 composite aerobatic display was really a surprise. To think, all this airpower, both tactical and strategic, was whizzing around just along Ukraine's southern border is pretty unnerving, especially for those in the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. In fact Sevastopol's flyover was more impressive than Moscow's flyover earlier that day.
American assets in the region undoubtedly monitored these aircraft closely, but even they must have been surprised and a little startled at the sheer amount of Russian aerial power streaming towards the Black Sea. This display, along with Russia's Black Sea Fleet lined up in parade formation was clearly a "Mission Accomplished" moment for Putin when it comes to his seizure of the Crimean Peninsula, big F%&K YOU to Ukraine and a clear display of power projection for the world as to how much airpower he can put up in two different places on the same day.
Check out the video below for a recap of the event, there is some cool GoPro footage taken from the flight demonstration team's point of view and Putin's little yacht is pretty bizarre.