Skip to content
Edit post

Air Force: Russian air defense sufficient on front lines, in Crimea but not on Russian soil

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 20, 2024 4:14 PM 3 min read
Air Force Command spokesperson Yurii Ihnat briefs the press on the consequences of Russia's missile strikes on Ukraine. (Evgen Kotenko / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russia has a sufficient capacity of air defense on Ukraine's front lines and in occupied Crimea but not on Russian soil, Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Air Force, said in an interview for Focus media outlet published on Jan. 20.

Ihnat's statement follows reports that Ukrainian drones attacked oil depots in Klintsy in Russia's Bryansk region and the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on Jan. 18-19. Klintsy lies around 80 kilometers from the border with Ukraine's Chernihiv Oblast, while Saint Petersburg is over 1,000 kilometers away.

"Russian air defense is thinning out. They filled the front line and Crimea with it (air defense). But you see that the Russian territory is not so filled with air defense equipment," Ihnat told Focus's journalist.

"Moscow, Saint Petersburg, (Russian dictator Vladimir) Putin's bunkers will be more or less protected, but Ukrainian-made drones reach Moscow, St. Petersburg, and oil depots in other cities. This is a very good sign."

Reports of drone attacks against military targets on Russian soil have increased in recent months. Kyiv usually doesn't officially comment on such strikes.

Ukrainian settlements close to the front line and the border with Russia have suffered the brunt of almost daily attacks since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February last year.

F-16s for Ukraine: When will they arrive and what can they do?
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is an American air superiority fighter that Kyiv has begged for since the start of the full-scale invasion and is expected to finally start receiving this year. It’s a versatile workhorse of a jet that’s fought in dozens of wars and is

When asked by Focus what weaponry can help change the course of the war, Ihnat said that Ukraine can't effectively fight with an army "that surpasses us in terms of numbers and technology."

"We need a tool from our partners to end the war. And this tool is high-tech long-range weapons," Ihnat explained, saying that in addition to U.S.-supplied ATACMS and Storm Shadow missiles delivered by the U.K., Ukraine needs Taurus missiles that Germany has so far refused to provide.

"We need to have (large) numbers to beat the enemy more effectively. Then it will be a serious help to our brothers from the Ground Forces," he added.

"We understand the conditions in which they are currently fighting at the front… Artillery is firing, aviation is firing, drones are flying overhead to destroy you. This is extremely hard work… Therefore, air support is critical, in particular, for long-range strikes to reduce the supply of enemy ammunition and logistics."

According to the Russian military design bureau "Stratim," as cited by Russian state-controlled media TASS on Jan. 18, Russia is developing a cheaper version of the Iranian-designed Shahed drone called the "Hawk." Russian forces have extensively used Shahed-type kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine's cities and critical infrastructure.

At the same time, Ukraine plans to produce one million drones in 2024, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Dec. 19 last year, recognizing the importance of this weaponry on Ukrainian battlefields.

How Russia’s homegrown Lancet drone became so feared in Ukraine
In the bubble of pro-Ukraine communities on the Internet, the constant inflow of battlefield videos showing the destruction of Russian equipment regularly lifts the moods of hundreds of thousands of supporters of Ukraine’s struggle around the world. Wander over to the Russian side of the internet,…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

9:50 PM

Media: Zelensky may visit Armenia in near future.

President Volodymyr Zelensky may visit Armenia in “the near future,” the Armenian news outlet FactorTV reported on Feb. 23. Preparations for the visit are currently underway, but the exact date has not yet been confirmed, the outlet reported, citing its sources.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
7:23 PM

Canada announces new sanctions against Russia.

Canada's new sanctions will target those who provide Russia with military equipment, offer services such as insurance to Russian soldiers, and otherwise help support the finances and logistics of the Russian state
2:36 PM

Ukraine, Denmark finalize long-term security agreement.

The U.K., Germany, and France have earlier signed similar deals to help Ukraine repel Russia's aggression based on a pledge made by the Group of Seven (G7) last July. Denmark is the first non-G7 country to finalize the deal.
1:59 PM

Biden announces new package of sanctions against Russia.

“Today, I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksei Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement published by the White House.
1:40 PM

US Senate Majority Leader arrives in Lviv for talks with Zelensky.

"I am leading this delegation to meet with President (Volodymyr Zelensky) to show the Ukrainian people that America stands with them, to show our NATO and European allies we stand with them, to learn about the arms Ukraine vitally needs, and to protect our democracy and national security," Chuck Schumer wrote on the social media platform X.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.