Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

Russian SU-25 fighter jets in Ukraine July 2, 2022.

Kyiv – Russia has lost roughly half of its best tanks in less than a year of its invasion of Ukraine and is struggling to replace them. This was stated by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in its latest report assessing the military capabilities of 173 countries. However, he said, Moscow has kept its air force largely intact and can deploy it more actively in the next phase of the war. Meanwhile, the Financial Times (FT) wrote that, according to Western intelligence services, the Russians are gathering aircraft on the border with Ukraine.

Advertisement'; }

Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

< p>Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

Institute: Moscow has kept its air force and can deploy it more actively in Ukraine

“They are not producing and re-commissioning nearly enough to make up for these losses. Their current front-line armored fleet is about half of what it was at the start of the war,” institute researcher Henry Boyd told Reuters. He estimated the losses of Russian tanks at 2,000 to 2,300 and Ukrainian tanks at 700. The IISS also says in its report that Moscow must rely on older Soviet-era models to replace its losses.

Ukraine has been promised about 100 modern Western tanks, including American Abrams, German Leopards and British Challengers, which with their their capabilities far exceed older Russian models, the Reuters agency pointed out. “This may then translate into less aggressive and less confident actions by (Russian) tanks as the crews are more concerned about the threat level,” Boyd said.

IISS aviation expert Douglas Barrie pointed out that Russia has kept its air force largely unscathed because it operates from afar due to Ukraine's effective air defenses and insufficient stockpile of short-range tactical air-to-surface missiles. Among other things, Russia uses long-range cruise missiles. However, according to him, Moscow may start trying to use its air force and possibly take more risks in order to hit the concentration of Ukrainian forces on the ground.

During the nearly year-long invasion, Russia lost large parts of the Ukrainian territories it had originally conquered. However, it still partially occupies four Ukrainian regions in the south and east of the country, and Kiev has been warning for several weeks about a new large-scale Russian offensive.

Russia is massing aircraft near its border with Ukraine, suggesting Moscow is preparing to deploy its warplanes and helicopters to support a faltering ground offensive, the Financial Times reported, citing Western intelligence services. Fears of a looming air war in Ukraine have prompted Kiev's allies to prioritize the rapid delivery of air defense equipment and artillery ammunition to Ukraine, Western officials said, according to the newspaper.

“Russian ground forces are quite depleted, so that is the best indication of turning it into an aerial battle. If the Ukrainians are to survive… they need to have as many air defense options and munitions as possible,” an unnamed senior US official said, according to the FT.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday negotiations with allied countries supporting Ukraine highlighted the threat posed by Russian air power. According to him, the United States does not see any immediate signs of a “massive air attack”, but Washington and its allies are trying to provide Ukraine with the largest possible amount of air defense equipment as quickly as possible in case Moscow joins its air force in the fight.

At the same time, the head of the US Department of Defense stated that Russia has a significant number of aircraft and the current Ukrainian air defense is insufficient.