Russia prepares for winter strikes on Ukraine with cruise missile stockpile, British intelligence reports

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.21 - 2023 11:44 AM CET


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British intelligence has revealed that Russia is amassing a significant arsenal of cruise missiles in preparation for potential winter strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

This development signals a strategic shift in the ongoing conflict, raising concerns about intensified military actions during the winter months.

The British Ministry of Defence, in its intelligence review, noted that Russia has refrained from deploying its main air-launched cruise missiles from its heavy bomber fleet for nearly two months, as reported by European Pravda.

This hiatus has likely enabled Russia to build up considerable reserves of these powerful weapons.

Between November 18 and 19, 2023, Russia reportedly launched around 50 Shahed UAVs, primarily targeting Kyiv. These drones were dispatched in waves from Kursk and Krasnodar.

According to British analysts, one of the objectives of these drone strikes was to debilitate Ukrainian air defenses, potentially paving the way for more extensive missile attacks.

Strategic Intentions

The intelligence review suggests that Russia's missile stockpiling is part of a broader strategy to undermine Ukraine's critical national infrastructure. The British Ministry of Defense anticipates that these missiles could be deployed in a coordinated campaign resembling last year's efforts to damage Ukraine's energy systems.

This latest intelligence update follows earlier observations in late October about Russia's pause in using long-range aircraft for missile strikes on Ukraine.

The use of Lancet kamikaze drones in key counter-battery fights has also been increasingly evident, as noted by British intelligence.

The prospect of intensified strikes during the winter months presents a significant challenge for Ukraine. The potential targeting of energy infrastructure could exacerbate the humanitarian situation in the country, especially given the harsh winter conditions.

As the situation unfolds, the international community, particularly Ukraine's allies, will closely monitor these developments. Responses and support strategies may need to be adapted in light of this potential escalation in Russian military tactics.

For more detailed information and updates on the situation, refer to trusted global news sources.