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Russia's buildup of air defence in Crimea makes it vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes – ISW

Friday, 14 June 2024, 04:04
Russia's buildup of air defence in Crimea makes it vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes – ISW
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The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has analysed the "cover" of Russian-occupied Crimea with air defence systems and concluded that increasing assets on the peninsula would make them vulnerable to Ukrainian strikes.

Source: ISW

Quote: "Sustained Ukrainian strikes against Russian military targets in occupied Crimea appear to be forcing the Russian military to commit additional air defence assets to Crimea in order to defend existing bases and logistics infrastructure, and further Ukrainian strikes against such air defence assets may render the peninsula untenable as a staging ground for the Russian military."

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Details: Ukraine's Defence Intelligence Chief Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov reported on 12 June that Russian forces have deployed their newest S-500 air defence system in Crimea, aiming to bolster their air defence capabilities in the region. 

Budanov described the S-500 as an "experimental" system, noting it has not been used in combat before.

In addition, Forbes, in a 12 June report, described Belbek air base in occupied Crimea as increasingly challenging to defend for Russian air defence systems after successful Ukrainian strikes near the air base.

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Forbes suggested that Ukrainian forces may have damaged parts of four or five S-400 batteries in recent attacks, although Russia possesses over 50 such batteries.

"Ukraine's current efforts to attrit the Russian air defence umbrella in Crimea notably may have the exploitable effect of drawing more Russian air defence assets to Crimea, making them vulnerable to further Ukrainian strikes," ISW noted.

ISW assessed that Ukraine might be systematically targeting Russian air defence systems, a strategy that could eventually enable Ukraine to effectively employ manned fixed-wing aircraft like F-16 fighters in the future.

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