​The UK Defense Intelligence: russia Scrambles to Defend Crimea After Ukrainian Attacks

Illustrative photo / Photo credit: Atesh
Illustrative photo / Photo credit: Atesh

Continued Ukrainian attacks threaten critical infrastructure

Throughout June 2024 the russian Air Force maintained pressure against the front-line in Ukraine with tactical aviation while one way attack drones continue to strike against deeper infrastructure and military related targets. However, between June12 and 18, russian long-range aviation switched the focus of its cruise missile strikes to target Ukrainian air bases, almost certainly borne out of frustration of continued Ukrainian air strike successes whilst also likely highlighting russia’s concerns about the future employment of the F-16 aircraft, according to the UK Defense Intelligence.

A series of coordinated Ukrainian attacks against targets in Crimea resulted in the destruction of critical elements of russian S-300 and S-400 surface to air missile systems. These successes highlight russia’s struggle to defend its assets in Crimea, despite their pride and significant economic outlay on air defense. While it is likely that russia can replace systems quickly, continued attrition will likely force russia to draw on equipment from other areas, as it has done previously, if it wishes to maintain its density of air defense coverage. Alternatively, russia may be forced to accept a reduction in capability, placing its forces on Crimea at increased risk.

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Illustrative photo Defense Express The UK Defense Intelligence: russia Scrambles to Defend Crimea After Ukrainian Attacks
Illustrative photo / open source

Further successful Ukrainian attacks against russian airfields conducting strike operations, such as Mozdok, Akhtubinsk and more recently Morozovsk has highly likely forced russia to maintain its policy of dispersing aircraft basing further from the front-line. This will almost certainly result in increased airframe and aircrew fatigue as sortie times increase. It is possible that the accidental loss of russian Su-34 fighter bomber in the North Ossetia region of southern russia on June 12 was linked to this.

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