UK intelligence reveals Vladimir Putin's Ukraine winter attack plans

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released an analysis of Russia’s pause in strikes against Ukraine.

UK intelligence Vladimir Putin Ukraine war
© Contributor / GETTYIMAGES
UK intelligence Vladimir Putin Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin has been making headlines this week as rumours about his health once again surface from Russia. If the Russian President is truly struggling with his own wellbeing, it certainly isn’t impacting his political movements. He arrived in Kyrgystan yesterday, Thursday 13 October, on his first trip abroad since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

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Now, his plans for a brutal winter attack against Ukraine have been revealed by British intelligence. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) posts regular intelligence updates on its X account. This morning, at 07:31, it posted about Russia’s air force and warned that their ‘break’ in attacks is not a good thing - it is strategic.

The Russian air force’s ‘break’ in attacks

The Russian air force’s Long Range Aviation (LRA) aircrafts have not carried out an attack against Ukraine since 21 September 2023 - a break of three weeks. This could be interpreted as a sign that Russian forces’ weaponry is depleted. As the MoD’s report said:

While such breaks have not been unusual, the last similar break in strikes occurred between 9 March and 28 April 2023, a period of 51 days.
In that Instance it was likely that LRA had almost depleted its stocks of capable AS-23 missile munitions following its winter campaign against Ukraine critical national infrastructure.

However, the MoD warned that this time, it could mean that Russia is gathering its forces for a winter attack on Ukraine.

Russia’s winter attack on Ukraine

The Russian army seems to be stockpiling their ammunition for winter. According to British intelligence, they plan on using it against Ukraine's critical infrastructure as the colder weather sets in.

The spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yurii Ihnat, seemed to corroborate this theory: he has stated that this pause in strikes means ‘the enemy has some plans’.

The MoD’s report explained that Russia has been targeting grain-related facilities in the south of Ukraine. They have been using SHAHED one-way-attack (OWA) uncrewed drones:

It is likely that Russia used SHAHED OWA UAVs on these targets because of their better accuracy over other types of air-launched missiles.

Yurii Ihnat noted that the Russians may be using one type of weapon now as they save another for a later attack. He also said:

Over the past month, they have employed a number of such powerful strikes with cruise missiles. They used missiles of the X-type from strategic aviation, as well as Kalibr missiles.
It's clear that the enemy cannot afford to use them practically every day or every week.

Previously, Ihnat stated that Russia used over 500 drones against Ukraine in September. He suggested that this winter could see a surge in Russia’s use of kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine.

However, in response to the speculation over Russia stockpiling weapons, he said: 'Maybe. But we will monitor the situation'.

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Sources used:

RBC- Ukraine: UK intelligence explains three-week pause in missile attacks on Ukraine


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