Russia has not used its long-range aircraft for strikes on Ukraine since Sept. 21, likely because it aims to conserve its stocks of long-range missiles for strikes on Ukraine's critical infrastructure in winter 2023, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Oct. 13.
This is not the first time that Russia has taken significant breaks in its usage of long-range missiles in Ukraine, the ministry noted. Previously, there was a similar pause in such strikes between March-April, likely because Russia had used up a significant amount of its missile stocks on last winter's failed campaign to knock out Ukraine's power grid.
President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Oct. 6 that Russia will again attempt to destroy Ukraine's critical infrastructure this winter.
Russia has also increasingly used Shahed-type drones on strikes against port infrastructure in the Danube River region, by the Romanian border, ostensibly because of their advantage in accuracy over long-range missiles, the report added.
Despite this, drone wreckage and fragments have been found on the territory of Romania, a NATO country, numerous times.
Russia escalated its attacks against Ukrainian port infrastructure following its unilateral termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023, targeting Ukraine's river ports Izmail and Reni near the Romanian border.