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Ukraine – Russia. Will Russia engage strategic bombers? ISW analysts evaluate

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Russia is increasing the involvement of its air forces in the war with Ukraine, the American Institute of War Studies (ISW) assessed in the latest report. At the same time, American experts admitted that it was unlikely that the Russian air force would be effectively used in campaigns on territory controlled by Kiev.

On Wednesday, the British newspaper Financial Times reported, citing intelligence sources in NATO countriesthat Russia is gathering planes and helicopters near the border with Ukraineindicating that he is preparing to throw them into combat to support an ineffective ground offensive.


According to the Financial Times, it was fears of impending air strikes that prompted Kiev’s allies to prioritize rapid deliveries of air defense equipment and artillery ammunition to respond to Moscow’s change of approach.

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Economical use of air force

The British daily pointed out that from the first weeks of the war Russia it used its sizeable air force sparingly, relying on long-range missiles, artillery, and ground troops. Western analysts speculated that this may have resulted from the Kremlin’s fears that Ukrainian air defense systems pose a threat to Russian aircraft or the poor state of the Russian air force.

A similar assessment was presented in Friday’s analysis by the Institute for the Study of War. “If the (aggressor’s) troops engaged in massive operations such as a strategic bombing campaign or close air support (ground forces), they would probably lose a disproportionate number of aircraft. anti-aircraft defense,” assessed the American think tank.

Russian Tu-95 strategic bombersANATOLY MALTSEV/EPA/PAP

The problem of illegal deportation and Russification of children

The HEI also confirmed Kiev’s assessment that Moscow’s criminal policy of illegal deportation and subsequent Russification of Ukrainian children is being implemented at the highest levels of power in the Kremlin. According to the center, Thursday’s meeting proves this Vladimir Putin with the Russian ombudsman for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova. As it was emphasized, this event was notable because it confirmed that “Putin personally directs the efforts to facilitate deportation and ‘adoption’ programs, which … may constitute a violation of the Convention (UN) on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.

Meeting between Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-BelovaMIKHAIL METZEL/PAP/EPA

“The Kremlin’s propaganda media cynically portray (illegal deportations) as the alleged rescue of Ukrainian children from areas affected by military operations. The crimes of deportation are branded by the authorities in Moscow, as evidenced by the fact that Lviv-Bielova in October last year ‘adopted’ a child in the light of cameras from Mariupol, destroyed by the invaders,” said Mykola Kuleba, a former Ukrainian ombudsman for children’s rights and director of the NGO Save Ukraine, on February 8.

Main photo source: ANATOLY MALTSEV/EPA/PAP

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