According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Russia has started a more coordinated campaign of airstrikes to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
Source: UK Defence Intelligence review dated 10 December on Twitter, as reported by European Pravda
Details: The Ministry suggested that the Russian Air Force used its fleet of heavy bombers to launch an intense wave of attacks on Kyiv and central Ukraine on the night of 7 December 2023, marking the first time since 21 September 2023.
These aircraft, probably Tu-95s, launched at least 16 air-launched cruise missiles over the Caspian Sea from their usual operating area.
The missiles were probably Kh-101 and Kh-102 missiles designated by NATO as AS-23a KODIAK. According to UK analysts, Russia most likely kept these missiles in reserve for use during the winter campaign.
Quote: "This was probably the start of a more concerted campaign by Russia aimed at degrading Ukraine’s energy infrastructure," the review reads.
Analysts noted that the majority of these missiles were successfully intercepted by Ukraine’s air defence, based on initial reports.
The attack resulted in one civilian death, but the UK Ministry of Defence added that the damage was at this point very minor.
Background: On 25 November, the UK Ministry of Defence suggested that Russia's Black Sea Fleet logistical challenges in the port city of Novorossiysk affected their ability to launch cruise missiles towards Ukraine.