The Kremlin fears new outbreaks
The secret document gives statistics on Moscow’s air force in Crimea
08/31/2022, 11:44 am (Updated)
Past outbreaks in Crimea seem to have an effect on the Kremlin. According to a secret NATO report, Moscow is redeploying its warplanes for fear of new outbreaks. Moscow concentrates many machines near Sevastopol.
After several bombings in Crimea, Russia is moving its warplanes elsewhere, according to a media report. “Business Insider” reported, citing a secret NATO document dated Aug. 22, that Moscow has already withdrawn ten flights from the annexed peninsula to the Russian mainland to avoid further losses. Accordingly, there are six SU-35S fighters and four MiG-31BM interceptors.
Despite the restructuring, Crimea’s Belbek airfield near Sevastopol “will remain Russia’s most important airfield for providing air support over southern Ukraine and the Black Sea,” a Business Insider report cites. Around 32 fighter jets are still stationed there. The majority are said to be SU-27 fighter pilots. But a small number of modern SU-35S multi-role fighters and MiG-31BMs are also stationed at the base.
The Kremlin’s military planners have increased the number of surface-to-air missiles in Crimea to deter further attacks. However, Ukrainian drones are said to be difficult for Russian air defense forces to detect. “Russia’s deployment of entire force to Ukraine is a running problem.”
Several explosions in Crimea
Ukraine’s secret service said last week that the Russian Air Force was trying to secure fighter jets and helicopters in Crimea. The machines will either be transferred to the interior of the peninsula or transferred to the Russian mainland. Information cannot be independently verified.
In early August, explosions rocked the Russian Crimean base in Sagi. According to satellite images, at least seven military aircraft were destroyed. This was followed by explosions at an ammunition depot near Dschankoy and at the Gvardeyskoye air base. Kyiv has yet to claim responsibility for the blasts. However, observers doubt that these are targeted military strikes by Ukraine.
(This article was originally published on Friday, August 26, 2022.)
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