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UK Military Intelligence: Ukrainian strikes overload Russian air defense, causing 'friendly fire'

by Kateryna Hodunova April 7, 2024 12:23 AM 2 min read
UAV attack in Tatarstan, Russia on April 2, 2024. (screenshot from a video on social media)
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Ukrainian recent attacks increased pressure on Russian air defense systems, leading to Russia likely shooting down its own planes, the U.K. Military Intelligence's report said on April 6.

Ukrainian forces have recently intensified attacks on Russian territory, mainly targeting military facilities and oil refineries. In total, the latest attacks have disrupted between 12-14% of Russia's refining capacity, according to Bloomberg.

Responding to reported U.S. concerns about targeting Russian facilities, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine has the right to use its own weapons for self-defense amid Moscow's large-scale strikes on the country's energy infrastructure.

In its latest report, the U.K. Military Intelligence recalled the March 28 case when a Russian military plane allegedly crashed into the sea near occupied Crimea.

The U.K. Military Intelligence's report said the plane was shot down "in an incident of friendly fire." The Russian-installed head of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, reacted to the plane crash, claiming that there was a "technical failure."

The U.K. Military Intelligence's report also referred to Ukrainian strikes on March 24 against targets in Russian-occupied Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet. According to the report, Ukrainian attacks "almost certainly led to local Russian air defense being at a heightened readiness."

"There have been previous unconfirmed reports of similar instances of friendly fire occurring, usually following periods of Ukrainian action against Russian forces in the illegally occupied territories," the report read.

The U.K. Military Intelligence said it is "a realistic possibility rather than a technical issue" that Russian forces inadvertently engage their own pilots and aircraft under the pressure of potential Ukrainian strikes.

The U.K. Military Intelligence added that these and other cases if confirmed, can indicate "the lack of situational awareness and coordination" in Russian forces.

Earlier, Russia's Air Force suffered particularly heavy losses in late February and March, losing more than a dozen warplanes, including Su-34 fighter bombers, Su-35 fighter jets, and a rare A-50 military spy plane.

Ukraine destroyed 13 Russian military aircraft in 2 weeks. How?
Ukraine reported the downing of 13 Russian warplanes within the last two weeks, among the highest Russian Air Force losses since the early days of the full-scale invasion. This list includes 10 Su-34 fighter bombers, two Su-35 fighter jets, and one more rare A-50 military spy plane. Another A-50 ai…
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