British intelligence believes Russia is stockpiling missiles for winter attacks on Ukraine
The Russian army is stockpiling missiles for massive winter strikes on Ukraine's critical infrastructure
The UK Ministry of Defence reports.
It is noted that the Russian Air Force's long-range aircraft have not struck Ukraine since September 21, which is 21 days.
"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," the ministry said.
The intelligence agency notes that in this case, Russia is likely to have almost depleted its stockpile of combat-ready AS-23 missile munitions following its winter attacks against Ukraine's critical infrastructure.
"This time, it is likely that Russian LRA are preserving existing stocks of AS-23 missiles as well as using this pause to increase usable stocks in anticipation of further heavy strikes against Ukraine over the winter," the report reads.
It is noted that Russia has recently focused its air strikes against grain facilities in southern Ukraine, using Shahed unmanned aerial vehicles. Russia targeted Ukrainian ports on the Danube River, which likely required a high level of accuracy due to the target's proximity to the Romanian border.
The day before, Yuriy Ihnat had already stated that September was a record month for the number of Shahed drones used by Russia against Ukraine. Ukrainian Air Force forecasts increased drone attacks in winter and reduced missile strikes
At the same time, on October 3, the commander of the AFU's Joint Forces, Serhiy Nayev, announced the strengthening of the air defense system in the northern regions amid potential Russian strikes on energy infrastructure in winter.
Ihnat believes that the fall and winter periods will be record-breaking in Ukraine in terms of the number of Russian attacks with kamikaze drones. In September alone, Russia launched more than 500 drones at Ukrainian settlements.