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Russians test readiness of Ukrainian air defense

Russians test readiness of Ukrainian air defense Russians test readiness of Ukrainian air defense (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russian troops are monitoring the situation from the Black Sea and carry out targeted missile strikes with guided Kh-59s and anti-radar Kh-31Ps from time to time. That way they are checking the readiness of Ukrainian air defense systems to be able to conduct appropriate reconnaissance, according to the spokeswoman for the Southern Ukraine Defense Forces, Natalia Humeniuk.

According to Humeniuk, there is no increased activity of even enemy tactical aircraft, although they sometimes fly and prefer to stay over the Azov and Black Seas.

In particular, the Russians have now stopped the tactical use of guided bombs, which is what they used in the Kherson sector and along the front line.

"We have not recorded such incidents for a week. In fact, the last time a guided bomb was launched in the Kherson region, it happened during another downing of an Su in the eastern direction," the spokeswoman said.

Humeniuk added that the enemy does not stop trying to storm the left bank of the Kherson region. She noted that last day alone, the Ukrainian Armed Forces eliminated 74 occupants, 50 of them in the area of the village of Krynky.

As a reminder, the lack of aid will delay the Ukrainian Armed Forces' return to the initiative along the entire front line. Thus, ISW reported that further delays in the provision of Western security assistance could delay Ukrainian efforts to regain the initiative throughout the entire theater of operations. A new offensive operation planned by Russia for the spring and summer of this year could also be detrimental. Lack of financial resources is forcing Ukrainian troops to redeploy, and uncertainty about future assistance is limiting Ukrainian operational planning.

The ISW mentioned that Zelenskyy recently announced the armed forces' intention to launch a counteroffensive in 2024, but at the same time stressed that the defense of its territory remains a priority for Ukraine.

Zelenskyy also said that Russia is preparing a new offensive, which could begin in late May or summer 2024: this is likely to further delay Ukraine's ability to prepare and launch counteroffensive operations.

Well-supplied Ukrainian forces have proven that they can prevent even small Russian successes during large-scale offensive operations and are capable of inflicting significant losses on attacking Russian forces, ISW added.