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Ukraine. The Russians are gathering aviation. General Bieniek: they may be preparing for a huge strike

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I am concerned about the Russian buildup of a large amount of air force close to Ukraine. I’m afraid that they may be preparing for a really huge blow – General Mieczysław Bieniek, former NATO deputy commander for transformation, said on TVN24. He referred to information, which was provided on Wednesday by the Financial Times, among others, that large gatherings of Russian planes and helicopters were forming near the Ukrainian border.

According to Western intelligence sources Russia gathers planes and helicopters near the border with Ukraineindicating it is preparing to throw them into combat to support a stalling ground offensive, the Financial Times wrote on Wednesday.

General Bieniek: The Russians may be preparing for a huge blow

On Wednesday, General Mieczysław Bieniek, former deputy commander, also referred to these reports FOR THIS for transformation.

Russian helicopter exercises [wrzesień 2021 roku]MAXIM SHIPENKOV/PAP/EPA

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– I am concerned about the gathering of a large number of air forces close to Ukraine, at airports that border the battlefield. They [Rosjanie – red.] they protected their air force very carefully, they have a lot of them – he noted. – It surprised me and still surprises me, because the pilots are untrained or do not have the means of combat for these planes. Rather, they fired strategic bombers from afar, not using aircraft for combat support, he added.

– I am afraid that today, by accumulating these funds, they may be preparing for a really huge strike in some selected direction to break the Ukrainian defense – said Bieniek.

He noted, however, that the Ukrainians, thanks to information from their own and allied intelligence, “probably also gather defense systems in certain directions.” “Everything is possible, but let’s remember that today Ukrainian air defense systems are stronger and better organized,” he stressed.

“Financial Times”: Russians are gathering aviation at the border with Ukraine

Fear of an impending air war in Ukraine has prompted allies to prioritize rapid deliveries of air defense equipment and artillery ammunition to Kiev to respond to Moscow’s shift in attitude, the British Financial Times writes.

“FT” cites two officials who say that intelligence data showing that Russia is amassing planes and helicopters near the border with Ukraine was passed on to allied countries. During meetings on Tuesday with allied countries supporting Ukraine, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin it was intended to highlight the threat posed by Russia’s significant remaining air force.

Jens Stoltenberg, Mark Milley, Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Minister Oleksii Reznikov EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

“He made it very clear that we have a short window of time to help the Ukrainians prepare for the offensive and that they have some quite specific needs,” a senior administration official said. USA. – Russian ground forces are quite depleted, so this is the best indication that they will switch to air combat. If the Ukrainians are to survive, they must have as many air defense capabilities and as much ammunition as possible, he added.

“FT” points out that from the first weeks of the war, Russia used its considerable air force sparingly, focusing on long-range missiles, artillery and land forces. Western analysts speculated that this may have been due to Moscow’s fear that Ukraine’s air defense systems posed a threat to Russian aircraft or that its air fleet was in poor condition.

But intelligence assessments indicate that Russia’s air force is “actually quite preserved,” a senior NATO diplomat said. – More than 80 percent are likely to be safe and accessible. So we expect that they are preparing to launch an air campaign and try to disable the Ukrainian defenses with air strikes, the diplomat said.

Main photo source: MAXIM SHIPENKOV/PAP/EPA

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