British intelligence assesses effects of Ukrainian strike at Crimea airfield

British intelligence assesses effects of Ukrainian strike at Crimea airfield

The latest Ukrainian strike targeting Russia’s Belbek airfield in temporarily occupied Crimea further undermined the potential of Russian aerospace force.

That’s according to the UK Ministry of Defense, referring to intelligence data, Ukrinform reports.

On January 31, the Ukrainian strike at the Belbek airfield is believed to have destroyed the bunker of the Radar Control Coordination Center.

"This will almost certainly degrade Russia’s ability to coordinate air activity in the Black Sea region, increasing reliance on the already stretched A-50 MAINSTAY aircraft fleet, as well as than increasingly depleted pool of trained personnel available to direct air operations," the report reads.

Read also: Russia has to increase domestic taxes, debt to fund expenditures - British intelligence

At the same time, analysts note the fact that the Russian military doctrine implies a significant role of ground control stations to coordinate its airborne assets, particularly fighters.

Given the ongoing fighting in Ukraine, "it is almost certain that Russian pilots and ground personnel are now suffering from combat fatigue due to the demand of Ukraine operations," the report says.

"Any further strikes on critical coordination nodes in Crimea will almost certainly increase these pressures, creating a heightened possibility of mistake or miscalculation," said British intelligence.

Read also: Russia exploring safer bases for warplanes after Ukraine hits Belbek airfield in Crimea - army spox

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on January 31, Ukraine’s Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk confirmed a successful strike on the Belbek airfield in temporarily occupied Crimea.

Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat emphasized that at least three planes were affected at the site.

Subsequently, the Crimean Wind Telegram channel reported that Russia’s Aviation Squadron Commander Oleksandr Tatarenko was killed by the strike alongside 10 servicemen were liquidated on January 31.

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