In its December 10 intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry says the Russian Air Force’s December 7 missile attack on Kyiv appears to be the “start of a more concerted campaign by Russia aimed at degrading Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.”
The ministry tweeted:
- On the night of 7 December 2023, the Russian Air Force conducted a major wave of strikes towards Kyiv and central Ukraine using its heavy bomber fleet, for the first time since 21 September 2023.
- These aircraft, highly likely Tu-95 BEAR H, likely launched at least 16 air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) from their typical operating area over the Caspian Sea. The missiles were highly likely AS-23a KODIAK, Russia’s premier ALCM. Russia has almost certainly been stockpiling these missiles for use in the winter campaign.
- This was probably the start of a more concerted campaign by Russia aimed at degrading Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. However, initial reports indicate the majority of these missiles were successfully intercepted by Ukrainian air defence. Despite at least one civilian reported killed, the damage currently appears to have been minimal.