TechAnomalies in conflict. Russian aviation suspends attacks on Ukraine

Anomalies in conflict. Russian aviation suspends attacks on Ukraine

Strategic bomber Tu-160M
Strategic bomber Tu-160M
Images source: © Getty Images | 2021 Anadolu Agency
ed. MT
3:51 PM EDT, October 27, 2023

Notably, there has been over a month-long pause of missile attacks on Ukraine by the Russian Long-Range Aviation (DA) fleet of heavy bombers. The British Ministry of Defense has highlighted this as one of the longest gaps in such attacks since the inception of the conflict.

The daily intelligence update has indicated that Russia still holds the capability to use other strike methods. However, the DA attacks were chiefly responsible for executing precision strikes from a distance. As asserted by the British, Russia has likely had to reduce the frequency of these attacks to replenish their diminishing stocks of AS-23a (NATO code: Kodiak) maneuvering missiles.

Russia's preferred bombers, the Tu-95 and Tu-160, commonly utilize this arsenal. The AS-23a maneuvering missiles weigh up to 5280 lbs and are almost 24.6 ft long; they can deliver a warhead weighing up to 1058 lbs with a striking range of up to 2.8 miles.

The British Ministry of Defense speculates that the remaining AS-23a ammunition reserves will soon come into use as the temperature falls significantly. Even in August, Ukrainian intelligence surmised that the Russians are conserving these long-range missiles for attacks on energy infrastructures during the winter period.

It is highly probable that Russia will use its recently produced ammunition stocks for DA attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructures in the winter. Moreover, it appears likely that Russia will prolong any such campaign by utilizing strikes from unmanned aerial vehicles," as assessed.

In addition to these challenges faced by the invaders, their fleet of strategic bombers seems to be dwindling. Ukrainian forces are becoming increasingly effective at attacking Russian airports. As a result, the latter is resorting to increasingly odd attempts to safeguard their aircraft. Satellite images reveal that Russian propaganda tactics often involve the display of drawings on airport plates as their aircraft to obscure the reality of the situation. This strategy aims to confuse Ukrainians and waste attacks on false targets.

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