Russian Air Force’s poor performance due to risk aversion strategy, UK says

Russia’s air force has consistently underperformed since Vladimir Putin launched the war against Ukraine in late February, British intelligence said on Monday.

In its daily intelligence update, the UK Defense Ministry said Russia’s failure to deliver consistent air power was one of the most important factors behind the Kremlin’s “very limited campaign success”, which began more than 100 days earlier in the conflict. .

Since the start of the war on 24 February, Russia’s air force has acted at “risk”. [averse] style,” meaning it has rarely penetrated deep behind Ukrainian lines, and has so far not been able to “achieve absolute air superiority”, the ministry said.

“Some of the underlying causes of its difficulties are similar to those of the Russian ground forces,” Update said.

“Over the years, much of Russia’s air combat training has been highly scripted and designed to impress senior officers, not to develop dynamic initiatives among air crews,” the Defense Ministry said.

Therefore, Russia has developed “an impressive roster of relatively modern and capable fighter jets” within its air force, but has failed to develop the necessary “institutional culture and skill-sets” of its personnel to meet Russia’s aspirations. Style Modern Air Campaign,” said the British Defense Ministry. “This has resulted in a higher-than-planned load for ground troops, which are getting exhausted; and on advanced cruise missiles, whose stocks are running low.”

According to a report by the UK Defense Ministry, Russia’s air force in Ukraine is performing poorly due to its risk aversion strategy. In the picture, Russian MiG-29SMT jet fighters carrying the symbol “Z” in support of Russian military action in Ukraine, take off over central Moscow during the general rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade on May 7, 2022.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

On 4 March, more than a week into the conflict, the British defense and security think tank RUSI described the efforts of Russia’s air force as “anemic”, noting that the first day of the conflict had largely been carried out by Russian air forces. An anticipated series of operations was not materialised.

The UK also noted that Russia’s ground and strategic air operations this weekend continue to focus on the Donbass in eastern Ukraine.

Clashes in Ukraine’s eastern region intensified over the weekend, as Putin focused his attention on capturing the strategic city of Severodonetsk and its twin city of Lisichansk, failing to capture the capital Kyiv in the early stages of the war.

On Monday, Serhi Gaidai, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, announced that Putin’s troops had captured the city of Metelkin near Severodnetsk.

“Unfortunately, we do not currently control Metelkine near the regional center,” Gardai said. “They are working hard in the Severodnetsk industrial area and on the outskirts of the city.”

“The same is true in the Toshkivka and Ustinivka districts,” he said, noting that Russian troops have gathered a large amount of equipment in the region.

“Fights are taking place in several villages around Severodnetsk and Lisichansk,” Gaidai said.

Russia’s state news agency TASS also reported that several Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered in the city.

newsweek has reached out to Russia’s foreign ministry for comment.

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