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UK intel: Russia’s accidental bombings point to deeper issues within Russia’s air forces

Russia’s military aircraft accidentally discharging aerial bombs over Russian and Ukrainian villages in three incidents since April 2023 reflects systemic inadequacies like poor training, crew fatigue, and unsafe tactical execution, per UK intelligence.
Crater left behind in Russia’s Belgorod by an accidentally disharged air bomb on 20 April 2023. Photo: loal Telegram channels

In its latest intelligence update on Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry says that in three separate incidents since April 2023, Russian military planes accidentally discharged aerial munitions over Russian and Ukrainian villages, pointing to inadequate training, crew fatigue, and flawed tactics.

Russian strategic and tactical aviation units have been conducting extensive bombing and missile campaigns against Ukraine, targeting not only frontline areas but also cities deep within the country’s interior, often causing civilian casualties. In some cases, abnormal discharges of aerial munitions endanger the occupied territories and Russia proper.

The ministry wrote:

  • Russia has accidentally discharged two aerial munitions on two separate occasions in the past week. Russia’s Ministry of Defence stated that on 2 January 2024 one of their aircraft discharged a munition damaging nine residential properties in Petropavlovka, in Russia’s Voronezh Oblast.
  • The second incident, on 8 January 2024, occurred with a discharge of a FAB-250 unguided munition over the village of Rubizhne, Lunhansk Oblast, in occupied Ukraine, and was confirmed by the pro-Russian head of the Luhansk People’s Republic. Both instances were during Russian combat sorties.
  • Previously, on 20 April 2023 a Russian Su-34 aircraft also had an “abnormal discharge of aviation ammunition” over Belgorod city in Russia. Russia’s continued propensity for munition accidents is likely exacerbated by inadequate training and crew fatigue, leading to poor execution of tactics during missions.

Russia bombed occupied Rubizhne in Luhansk Oblast

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