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UK intel: Ukrainian attack on Krasnodar Krai air base forces dispersal of Russian aircraft, boosting operational burdens

Dispersal of around 40 Russian aircraft from Kushchovskaya airfield due to Ukrainian attack will increase sortie lengths, fuel costs, and strain on aircrews, per UK intelligence.
Ukrainian drone strike Kushchyovskaya airfield
Geolocated footage of the aftermath of the Ukrainian drone strike at Kushshyovskaya airfield on 27 April. Credit: Dnipro OSINT
UK intel: Ukrainian attack on Krasnodar Krai air base forces dispersal of Russian aircraft, boosting operational burdens

The UK Defense Ministry has reported that Ukraine’s recent attack on the Russian airfield Kushchovskaya in southwestern Russia likely led to the relocation of approximately 40 various types of aircraft. These aircraft were dispersed to several airfields further from the frontline over the past week.

Forcing such dispersal measures will increase sortie lengths to maintain battlefield presence, thereby raising fuel costs and placing additional strain on aircrews, according to the ministry.

The Kushchovskaya military airfield, located in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai, came under a drone attack overnight on 26-27 April, destroying a warehouse with UPMK gliding bomb kits. Front-line bombers were also located at the airfield.

The ministry wrote:

  • Over the course of this week, the Ukrainian attack on the Russian airfield Kushchevskaya has likely contributed to approximately 40 aircraft of different types being removed from the area and dispersed to multiple airfields further from the frontline.
  • The impact of this is unlikely to be immediately obvious or dramatic. However, Ukraine has already demonstrated the ability to strike much further into Russia than these dispersal locations. Forcing such dispersal measures means that length of sorties will have to increase to maintain the same permanency over the battlespace. This will in turn require more fuel, increasing cost, while also placing more strain on the aircrews.

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