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Guardians of Ukraine: The Ukrainian Air Force Since 1992

Guardians of Ukraine: The Ukrainian Air Force Since 1992 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2021 Title Guardians of Ukraine: The Ukrainian Air Force Since 1992
Author Babak Taghvaee Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2021 ISBN 9781902109619
Format 352 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $55.95


Fresh from today’s front-page flash-points comes a cool, colorful compendium from Hikoki Publications.

Guardians of Ukraine – available in North America from Specialty Press – spans six chapters across 352 lavishly illustrated pages, chronologically organized by mission and aircraft type.

  • Eyes and Ears
  • Fighter Force
  • Military Transport Aviation
  • Long Range Aviation
  • Pilot Trainers
  • Radio and Radar Jammers

Respected author Babak Taghvaee – best known for superb studies of military aviation in his native Iran – lends his considerable talent to illuminating the Soviet-era aerial assets, and post-independence vicissitudes of what was once Europe’s second-largest air arm.

Subtitled “The Ukrainian Air Force Since 1992”, Hikoki’s handsome hardback sports hundreds of illustrations – color shots, color profiles, and close-ups.

MiG-29s. Su-27s. Tu22Ms. Mi-8s. Even Su-15s and MiG-21s. And more. Much more.

How about that stunning L-39C camouflage scheme at the bottom of page 325? Or that intricate mottled green over gray Su-25M1 pattern? Or those wild Su-24MR sharkmouths of 511th ORAP?

Start planning those projects!

Nor must you sequentially traverse this terrific tome.

After introductory remarks, I visited fighter commentary, segued to long-range aviation notes, lingered at reconnaissance assets, then sauntered through the rest.

Aircraft service details – and notes on exports of refurbished ex-Soviet and Ukrainian equipment – proved especially illuminating.

Captions, tables, and abbreviations glossary augment the eye-opening effort. And a selected bibliography and index neatly wrap things up.

Taghvaee’s ripping read reflects years of serious study and sleuthing. I savored its motherlode of revelations. And you will, too.

I just wish he includes some color plates of unit badges! And why no annotations?

Robustly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!