NewsUkraine's attacks strain Russian air defenses in Crimea

Ukraine's attacks strain Russian air defenses in Crimea

The effects of the Ukrainian attack at the Belbek base in Crimea
The effects of the Ukrainian attack at the Belbek base in Crimea
Images source: © East News

8:51 AM EDT, May 18, 2024

Four successful attacks conducted by Ukraine within a month on occupied Crimea have significantly weakened Russian air defense in the territory and will likely force Russia to disperse its elements further, the British Ministry of Defense stated on Saturday.

In the daily intelligence update, it was reported that on May 14, the Ukrainian armed forces carried out attacks on Russian military targets in occupied Crimea, and initial reports suggest that elements of the S-400 Triumph air defense missile system (NATO code: SA-21) were destroyed, including radar and launchers. Additionally, reports indicate that at least two MiG-31BM aircraft (NATO code: Foxhound C) on the ground were destroyed.

This marks the fourth time within a month that Russian air defense in Crimea has suffered losses. The Ukrainian armed forces previously conducted successful attacks on radar in Aj-Petri in the Crimean Mountains on May 12 and on the military airport in Dzhankoy on April 16 and April 29. The combined effect of these attacks is assessed to be the degradation of Russia's air defense capabilities around Crimea while also demonstrating Ukraine's ability to influence the operation of Russian air defense.

Russia will disperse "air assets"

"This will likely lead Russia to disperse its air assets to increase its resilience to combat actions, or it will risk losing more aircraft by transferring air defense elements from elsewhere. Reducing the operational area of A-50U (Mainstay) aircraft and relocating them from military airfields in Crimea will likely increase the number of flight hours and sorties per fighter pilot to fill gaps in the patrol area, leading to a need for more frequent fleet maintenance", the update stated.

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