British Intelligence update on Ukraine as of May. 21
Since early May 2023, Russia has restarted frequent long-range missile strikes deep into Ukraine. They are likely primarily aimed at degrading Ukrainian air defences.
Innovating on earlier waves of deep strikes, Russia has started more frequently integrating unarmed, surveillance uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) into operations.
These have included Russian-produced SuperCam UAVs which are relatively cheap and have sufficient range to fly over the cruise missiles’ targets.
Russia has highly likely adopted this tactic in an attempt to obtain more timely battle damage assessment and improve its targeting cycle.
The Russian military’s slow and inefficient targeting process has been a major weakness in its performance in Ukraine. However, slow surveillance UAVs are highly vulnerable to Ukrainian air defences.