The UK analysts made the assessment in their latest intelligence update on the war in Ukraine, published on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
“Russia has highly likely lost at least four combat jets in Ukraine within the last 10 days, taking its attrition to approximately 55 since the start of the invasion,” the British Ministry of Defence wrote.
The UK analysts added: “There is a realistic possibility that this uptick in losses is partially a result of the Russian Air Force accepting greater risk as it attempts to provide close air support to Russian ground forces under pressure from Ukrainian advances.”
Russia’s lack of air superiority
The UK Ministry of Defence further noted that “Russian pilots’ situational awareness is often poor; there is a realistic possibility that some aircraft have strayed over enemy territory and into denser air defence zones as the front lines have moved rapidly.”
The British analysts stressed that “Russia’s continued lack of air superiority remains one of the most important factors underpinning the fragility of its operational design in Ukraine.”
Russia suffers ‘devastating losses’ in eastern Ukraine
Meanwhile, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that “Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate positions on the east bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv Oblast [northeastern Ukraine] despite Russian efforts to contain them.”
In its latest analysis of the Russo-Ukrainian war, published on Sunday night, the US think tank added that “Russian forces in western Kherson Oblast [eastern Ukraine] may be attempting to fall back to more defensible positions in a controlled withdrawal to avoid the chaotic retreat that characterised the collapse of Russian defences in Kharkiv earlier in September.”
According to the ISW, “Russian forces suffered devastating losses of manpower and equipment in their fight for eastern Ukraine and especially during the Ukrainian Kharkiv counter-offensive.”
The US experts noted that “Multiple Russian armoured and mechanised units have likely been effectively destroyed according to assessments released on September 18.”
Monday is day 208 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, UK Ministry of Defence, understandingwar.org