Ukraine War

British Intelligence Ukraine war map as of Oct. 13

As the conflict in Ukraine continues to evolve, British Intelligence provides a valuable update on the state of the war as of October 13, 2023. The focus of this report is on the Russian Air Force Long Range Aviation (LRA) activities, recent trends in strikes, and the use of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in targeting grain-related facilities in the south of Ukraine.

Russian Air Force LRA Strikes:

One significant observation made by British Intelligence is the absence of Russian Air Force LRA strikes against Ukraine since September 21, 2023, marking a 21-day pause. While such breaks are not uncommon, it’s important to note that the last similar break in strikes occurred between March 9 and April 28, 2023, spanning a substantial 51-day period. In that earlier instance, it was believed that the LRA had nearly exhausted its stocks of capable AS-23 missile munitions, primarily due to its winter campaign against Ukrainian critical national infrastructure.

This time, the situation appears different. British Intelligence suggests that the Russian LRA is likely preserving its existing stocks of AS-23 missiles and using this lull in operations to replenish their munition supplies, in anticipation of more extensive strikes against Ukraine during the upcoming winter months.

A Focus on Grain-Related Facilities:

Recent Russian airstrikes have concentrated on grain-related facilities across the southern regions of Ukraine. These strikes have been carried out using SHAHED one-way-attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAVs). The selection of targets is of particular interest, especially as some of these facilities are located near the Ukrainian Danube River ports, which, because of their proximity to the Romanian border, require a high level of precision.

The use of SHAHED OWA UAVs suggests a deliberate choice by Russian forces for their superior accuracy when compared to other types of air-launched missiles. The precise targeting of grain-related facilities might indicate an attempt to disrupt Ukraine’s agricultural sector, which plays a vital role in the nation’s economy.

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