Why Kyiv’s airport survived at the beginning of the war and did not follow Antonov International Airport fate

On the second day of the full-scale invasion of the Russian army, there was no one at Sikorsky International Airport Kyiv (former – Zhulyany airport) to guard it. Due to the timely reaction of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhny, the landing of planes and the disembarkation of Russian troops were quickly made impossible. And now we are accused of exceeding our powers and harming the state.

In an interview on “Kyiv FM” radio, Deputy Secretary of the NSDC (2019-2020) Major General Serhii Kryvonos, who led the defense of the air gate of the capital from the first days of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, told who exactly defended Kyiv Zhulyany airport.

“I arrived at Zhulyany airport on February 25. Since February 25, there was no one we consider oligarchs at Zhulyany airport, absolutely no one from the huge team of the company serving the airport and the huge team of policemen guarding it. There was no one. The airport was abandoned to its fate,” he said.

The general noted that the main goal was to prevent the Gostomel scenario when the Russian landing force managed to land, which allowed Russians to occupy the cities of the Kyiv region.

According to Kryvonos, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny sent security forces of the National Guard, the State Border Service, small units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the presidential regiment, marine veterans, cadets of the military institute of the Shevchenko University, and part of the people from the former “Right Sector” to the Kyiv airport.

“That’s why these people prevented the enemies from seizing the airport. Because we understood that the airport is only about seven kilometers away from the presidential quarter if the capture of the airport by the Russians was successful. Considering that there were practically no troops in the middle of Kyiv, except for the protection of the presidential quarter, with a small number of bulletproof vests, it is simply ridiculous. And the issue is that the Russians could seize the airport, and we saw how they did it, following the example of Vasylkiv and Gostomel. Therefore, we took certain measures quickly enough to make it impossible for any planes to land at all,” the military officer emphasized.

The general also noted that the current government authorities accuse the defenders of Zhulyany of exceeding their official powers.

“We are being accused of exceeding our powers and harming the state. Did we harm the state by preventing the landing of the Russian landing party? That is interesting,” he added.

Unlike some representatives of the authorities, for Kryvonos, the attack of the Russian troops from Belarus was not a surprise because it is the shortest way from Chornobyl to Kyiv on the excellent roads of the “Great Construction”.

“This allowed the Russians to quickly reach the outskirts of our capital by a beautifully constructed road. Therefore, the way the Russians acted coincided with my forecasts, which I gave back in January and March 2021,” Kryvonos said.

In addition, the general added that Kyiv survived by a miracle worked by Ukrainians despite the actions of the country’s political leadership.

“The Ukrainian people have once again shown that they are capable of self-organization in the shortest possible time and organization of the defense of their homeland, street, village, regardless of decision-making in Kyiv or region. People quickly self-organized and started working. And I am grateful to all Ukrainians who did it. It is just THAT Ukrainian miracle. The first miracle was in 2014, and this is the next miracle we worked in 2022. That ensured security without waiting for certain actions of the country’s leadership,” the general explained.

For reference. General Serhiy Kryvonos led the defense of Kramatorsk airfield during the first phase of Russia’s attack in 2014. He was one of those who actually created the Special Operations Forces in Ukraine.

We want to point out that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhnyi said that the Ukrainian military managed to take away the strategic initiative from the enemy, inflict critical losses, and force them to abandon their main goal – the capture of Kyiv.

Ukraine Front Lines

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