Russia’s inability to provide substantial air power is one of the “main reasons behind [its] very limited success,” according to the British Ministry of Defence.
The MoD’s latest intelligence update said: “Russian ground and tactical air operations have remained focussed on the central Donbas sector over the weekend.
“In the conflict to date, Russia’s air force has underperformed. Its failure to consistently deliver air power is likely one of the most important factors behind Russia’s very limited campaign success.
“It cannot gain full air superiority and has operated in a risk-adverse style, rarely penetrating deep behind Ukrainian lines.
“Some of the underlying causes of its difficulties echo those of Russian Ground Forces.
“For years, much of Russia’s air combat training has highly likely been heavily scripted and designed to impress senior officials, rather than to develop dynamic initiative amongst air crews.
“While Russia has an impressive roster of relatively modern and capable combat jets, the air force has also almost certainly failed to develop the institutional culture and skill-sets required for its personnel to meet Russia’s aspiration of delivering a more Western-style modern air campaign.
“This has led to a greater than planned weight of effort falling to ground troops, who are becoming exhausted; and on advanced cruise missiles, stocks of which are likely running low.”