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Airspace in Ukraine

Why it is a dominant factor in the war.

There are a number of critical elements to the success of the Ukrainian defense of their nation.

In my opinion, it is first and foremost their people's willingness to fight for their freedom and, as we have seen, sacrifice everything. Homes, property and lives.

Another critical element has been the inability of Russia to control the airspace over Ukraine. Through a combination of the Ukrainian Air Force and their air defense missile systems they have denied Russia the control of the airspace above the battlefield and over the Ukrainian logistics system.

All the war material that the United States and other nations are providing to Ukraine have to be transported to the front lines. That equipment and supplies travel primarily by rail and road, once they get to Ukraine.

Without Ukraine being able to contest the airspace and deny the Russians control of the airspace, the outcomes we've seen so far could not have been achieved.

If you remember the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, it was surprise and the inclement weather that grounded Allied planes that allowed Germany to make the advances that they did. Remember also, the German plan was to cut off the Allied supply lines coming in via the Port of Antwerp. Control of airspace and logistics are critical factors that influence the outcome of battles on the front lines.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.