British military intelligence, in a report issued on Monday, has indicated that Russia is encountering difficulties in managing threats on the southern front in the Ukraine war.
“In recent weeks, the Naval Aviation component of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has assumed a particularly important role in the Fleet’s operations as it struggles to deal with concurrent threats on the southern flank of the Ukraine war,” the UK ministry of defense said in its war intelligence update.
It added: “Naval Aviation is emphasizing maritime air patrol operations, highly likely with a primary mission of the early identification of uncrewed surface vessels. A key Russian asset in these operations is the Be-12 MAIL amphibious aircraft, designed in the 1950s, flying out of bases in occupied Crimea.”
The British intelligence report highlighted: “Su-24 FENCER and FLANKER variant combat jets conduct maritime strike operations, including at least one recent air strike on the strategically located Snake Island.”
It stated: “With more Fleet activities likely relocating to Novorossiysk in the face of threats to Sevastopol, Russia is attempting to use naval air power to project force over the north-western Black Sea.”