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British intel: Unmanned aerial vehicles target Moscow as air defense pressure mounts for Russia

Russia’s Aerospace Forces are under pressure to fortify air defenses in response to escalating Ukrainian threats that have reached deep within the country’s borders.
British intel: Unmanned aerial vehicles target Moscow as air defense pressure mounts for Russia

The British Defense Ministry says Russia’s Aerospace Forces grapple with increased pressure to bolster air defenses over western territories due to escalating threats penetrating deep into the country as unmanned aerial vehicles target Moscow while retired SA-5 GAMMON missiles reportedly shift to ground attack roles.

In its intelligence update, the ministry tweeted:

  • The leadership of Russia’s Aerospace Forces (VKS) is highly likely under intense pressure to improve air defences over western Russia. In recent months, the range of threats penetrating well inside Russia has increased. Strikes deep inside Russia are strategically important because President Putin almost certainly invaded Ukraine on the assumption that it would have little direct effect on Russians.
  • Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles are regularly hitting Moscow. In addition, there have also been increasing reports of SA-5 GAMMON missiles striking Russia. This Soviet-era 7.5 tonne, 11-metre long weapon is retired from its air defence role in Ukraine’s inventory. However, it is now apparently being employed as a ground attack ballistic missile.
  • Pressure is likely to particularly fall on VKS Chief of Staff, Colonel-General Viktor Afzalov; VKS Commander-in-Chief General Sergei Surovikin remains absent, suspected to have been detained in relation to the June 2023 Wagner Group mutiny.

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