Britain’s defence ministry on Wednesday said Ukraine retains control over the majority of its airspace, adding that Russia has failed to effectively destroy the country’s air force or suppress its air defences.
“Russia has very limited air access to the north and west of Ukraine, limiting offensive actions to deep strikes with stand-off weapons,” it said on Twitter.
“Russian air activity is primarily focused on southern and eastern Ukraine, providing support to Russian ground forces,” the ministry added in a regular bulletin.
Russia continues to target Ukrainian military assets and logistics infrastructure nationwide, British military intelligence said in the update.
It flagged a higher risk of civilian casualties, saying most Russian air strikes in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol were probably using unguided free-falling bombs.
Meanwhile, the fate of Ukraine is hanging in the balance and its allies must brace for the long haul and “ramp up” military production including tanks and planes to help, Britain’s foreign minister is likely to say on Wednesday.
The global security structures that should have prevented Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion have failed, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will say in a speech calling for “a new approach”.
This comment comes according to a preview of her address to diplomats and business leaders in London.
Reuters reported that Putin’s victory would have “terrible consequences across the globe,” and more, heavier, weapons should be sent to Ukraine despite the risk of escalating the conflict.
“We must be prepared for the long haul and double down on our support for Ukraine.
“Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes — digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this.”
Truss’s comments echo those of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who last week said the conflict could last until the end of next year.