June 23, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The well-known www.flightradar24.com noted an interesting flight path on the night from 17-18 June by the second all-spectrum reconnaissance Tu-214R aircraft built for Russia’s Ministry of Defense (registration number RA-64514, factory number 42305014, serial number 514.). The aircraft conducted a flight along Ukraine’s eastern border, thoroughly hugging it.
The second Tu-214R to be built was finished at the S.P. Gorbunov Aviation Plant in Kazan in 2014, and made its first flight at the end of 2014.
J.Hawk’s Comment: The Tu-214 appears to fulfill the same role as the US E-8 JSTARS aircraft, in other words, its main purpose is to conduct long-distance ground surveillance with the intent of identifying enemy ground units. Clearly the Russian Federation is closely watching the UAF goings-on in areas adjacent to the Donbass (though it clearly took a close look at the vicinity of Crimea and Transnistria as well, for good measure…), and the fact of these flights sends a message that if anyone in Kiev is hoping for a surprise, they will be sorely disappointed.