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Zelensky and Ukraine Should Hit Back with a Doolittle-Style Raid on Moscow

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

The clock is ticking and high noon is fast approaching for Ukraine. As such, President Zelensky and Ukraine should launch a Doolittle-style raid on Moscow as soon as possible. Doing so will shock the Russian people, and prove to the world that Ukraine has what it takes to actually win this war. 


The psychological impact (and embarrassment) of such an attack on Moscow can not be underestimated — and it could be the final straw that leads to the overthrow of Vladimir Putin.

The best defense is a strong offense. President Zelensky and the Ukrainians have certainly shown their steel — now they need to get creative and take this fight onto Russian soil. And, yes, it can be done.

In the wake of Imperial Japan's December 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and sweep across the South Pacific, the United States was left reeling and in panic. Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were formidable opponents and there was no guarantee America would prevail.  

Instead of backing up in weakness though, America decided to send a message to Japan...and it was a doozy.

On April 18, 1942 the United States mounted an audacious air raid on Tokyo itself, the heart of Imperial Japan. With most of America's Pacific Fleet still in ruins, reaching Japan was viewed as an impossibility.

The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle. He launched 16 American B-25 bombers off of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet. But because they had to launch so far away from Japan, there would be no fighter plane escorts for the bombers, nor enough fuel to return to the carrier. The surviving planes were instead to continue west and ditch in China, even though most of China was occupied by Japan. 

In other words, the Doolittle Raid was a suicide mission.    


Doolittle pulled it off with stunning success though, hitting their Tokyo targets and killing 50 and wounding over 400. All but one of the B-25 bombers were destroyed crashing in China. Of the 16 American airplane crews, 14 astonishingly made it to China and eventually back to the United States. 

The damage of this raid on Japan's military facilities and ability to wage war was negligible. However, the raid was a massive psychological success. In the United States, it was a major morale booster in the darkest of hours. In Japan, it was a shock to their sense of invincibility and destiny, as well as a foreshadowing of the bombings to come.  

For Ukraine today, it is time to stop thinking about “no fly zones” and cajoling President Biden and NATO into sending additional MiG 29s. Turning this into a wider war is not in anyone’s best interest. In fact, doing so could turn Ukraine into an even larger killing field with Putin detonating tactical battlefield nuclear weapons in order to scare off NATO. Let's not give Putin the excuse to do such a thing.

In order to win, you, the Ukrainians, will need to do it. And a Ukrainian version of the 1942 Doolittle Raid is more than possible. In fact, it may be your pathway to victory.

Success isn’t guaranteed, but the odds are in your favor. And as the old saying goes, "use them or lose them".  As such, now is the time to use the MiGs you already have. 


It is estimated that Ukraine still possesses between 37 and 70 of the MiG-29s inherited from the Soviet Union in 1991. One source says Ukraine currently has 56 operational MiGs. As such, Ukraine should consider deploying 26 of them as follows:

1.  Launch 16 MiGs (invoking Doolittle) armed to the teeth to bomb Moscow...specifically to bomb military airfields, the SVR RF intelligence services, oil storage facilities, electrical grids, and even the Kremlin itself. 

As the MiGs take off, simultaneously launch hundreds (or thousands if possible) of large decoy drones into Russia at rapid speed and in all directions.  The goal is to confuse the Russians. Likewise, identify a dozen commercial airliners en route to Moscow. Position one or two Ukrainian MiGs behind each commercial airliner to piggyback on their radar signature. This is not to harm the commercial airliners, only to use them to sneak into Moscow's air space.

Unlike the Russians, the Ukrainians will not be targeting civilians. However, this attack must be as visible and loud as possible for the Russian populace. They need to see this war is coming to them…and now. They need to be motivated to stop this war before they become part of the carnage.

The flying distance from the Ukrainian border to Moscow is approximately 300 miles (490 kilometers), and from Kyiv to Moscow 471 miles (758 kilometers). The MiG 29 has a flying range of 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) without external fuel tanks, and 1,300 miles (2,100 kilometers) with external tanks. Moscow is well within range.  


Moscow is the ideal target because it is the heart of Putin's war machine. However, if it is too well protected with missile defense systems, then pick alternative targets. There are hundreds of possible Russian targets to choose from.  

2.  Simultaneously, launch 10 MiGs to bomb all the Russian highways (especially M3) and railroad tracks leading to Ukraine. In other words, destroy all railroad and trucking routes for the Russians to resupply their war machine.  

Once the supply-line routes are severed in Russia, Ukraine must step up their counter-offensives and calls for Russian soldiers to lay down their arms.

At the same time, send several MiGs to bomb the Russian oil and gas pipelines that lead to Belarus and on to Germany. Germany's (and Angela Merkel's) naivety helped create this Ukrainian carnage. And they have the nerve to continue sucking off of Russia's oil and gas nipple while the daily human carnage goes on unabated.

Noting that Western Europe and NATO lack the courage and moral conviction to shut off Russia’s war oil, Ukraine should oblige and do it for them.

If Ukraine pulls off this MiG attack on Moscow, Putin’s regime will shudder. Follow it up with a second wave, and Putin’s regime will crack. Do it a third time, and Putin will be dust.

What do you have to lose in trying this, Ukraine? Russia is already leveling your cities and targeting your women and children, right?

And if you lose all your MiGs in these attacks, the world will shame President Biden and NATO into sending you more.  


Just as World War II ultimately had to be taken to the aggressors in Tokyo and Berlin, this war needs to be taken to the aggressor in Moscow.  (Taiwan better wake up and begin gaming out their own Doolittle Raid against Beijing or Shanghai…in case China invades.)

Stop believing in NATO and the West…they won’t save you. Instead, start channeling the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle.

This is your war to win, Ukraine.

Victory favors the bold.

George Mullen is the author of "The Coming Financial Tsunami" (2005) and "Welcome to the Bubble Economy" (2006), which accurately predicted the 2007-08 global economic crash. He is spearheading Sunbreak Ranch in the effort to end America's homeless crisis.  He is a principal of in San Diego, California.

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