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UK Intelligence: Russia struggles to defend assets in Crimea amid Ukrainian attacks

UK Intelligence reports that Ukrainian strikes on Russian airfields, such as Mozdok, Akhtubinsk, and Morozovsk, have likely forced Russia to disperse its aircraft further from the front lines, resulting in increased airframe and crew fatigue.
S-300 system Russia
A Russian S-300 air defense system used to shell Ukrainian border cities in land-to-land mode. Source: TASS
UK Intelligence: Russia struggles to defend assets in Crimea amid Ukrainian attacks

The UK Intelligence said in its daily update that Ukrainian successful attacks on Russian airfields from which strikes are launched, such as Mozdok, Akhtubinsk, and Morozovsk, have likely forced Russia to maintain its policy of dispersing aircraft based further from the front line.

The attacks will almost certainly result in increased airframe and crew fatigue as sortie times increase. The intelligence experts said the loss of an SU-34 fighter jet in the North Ossetia region may be linked to this reason. In addition, the series of strikes on targets in Crimea led to the destruction of critical elements of Russian S-300 and S-400 missile systems.

“These Ukrainian successes highlight Russia’s struggle to defend its assets in Crimea despite their pride and significant economic outlay on Air Defense,” claimed the agency. 

It is likely that Russia is capable of replacing systems quickly, and continued attrition will likely force Russian troops to draw on equipment from other areas to maintain its density of air defense coverage.

Additionally, the experts said that in June 2024, the Russian army maintained pressure on the front line in Ukraine with the help of tactical aviation. But over the past week, it has changed its tactics.

It has been caused by disappointment with the success of Ukrainian airstrikes and alleged Russia’s concerns about the future use of F-16 aircraft.

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