March 22, 2022

Russian air force action increases despite flood of antiaircraft missiles into Ukraine

Featuring Michael Kofman

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Dan Lamothe

“It’s very likely that the Russian Aerospace Forces have modified how they’re conducting operations,” said Michael Kofman, the director of Russian studies at CNA, a Virginia-based think tank. “There is either attrition in a significant percentage of the Ukrainian air defenses, or they’re being a lot more careful about how they’re carrying out these sorties.”

The increase in Russian flights can likely be attributed to several factors, analysts said.

While there are gaps in information, it appears that Ukraine has concentrated the high-power air defenses it has in a handful of locations, including the capital, Kyiv, and the second-largest city, Kharkiv, Kofman said. That has left Russia more free to carry out an increasing number of airstrikes around the southern port city of Mariupol, where pitched urban combat is ongoing and Russia has its sights set on what would be its first strategic victory in the war.

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.

Authors

  • Michael Kofman

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...