Russia has likely moved strategic air defense systems from Kaliningrad to backfill recent losses on the Ukraine front, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence update on Nov. 26.
The update cited “exceptional Russian air transport movements” in November to back the claim. The Baltic coast enclave of Kaliningrad borders NATO member states, with Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north and east.
“The fact that the Russian MoD appears willing to accept additional risk here highlights the overstretch the war has caused for some of Russia’s key, modern capabilities,” the ministry wrote in the update.
The move follows an uptick in losses of air defense systems by Russia in October. In a Nov. 2 update, U.K. Defense Ministry said Ukrainian strikes likely destroyed at least four Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers located in occupied territories in a week.
The early November update said losses point to Russia’s “struggle against modern precision strike weapons,” and will contribute to the strain on remaining systems.