Journalist Robert Bykov reports that twice earlier this month, pilots of the Balashov Military College of Transport aviation were unable to land a plane carrying journalists at Chkalov Airbase, one of the country’s safest. Both times they had to return to the Balashov military base. Because that town’s power officials cut the electricity supply to the air base three weeks ago, however, they were forced to get their sightings by torches and oil-lamps. Bykov said the 1980-1995 Air Force cohort is called the "generation of lost pilots." The overwhelming majority of its graduates will never fly. They serve on the ground in guard details, sweeping barracks and stoking boilers. As another example, he notes that pilots supposed to be training for MIGs and Sus are in fact flying L-39 training jets instead. Annual flight hours amount to 30, while international standards require at least 180. (2)
Shipbuilders Picket Government Offices.