Russia’s war in Ukraine has revealed “shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale,” the UK’s defence ministry has said in its latest intelligence briefing on the conflict.
The Ministry of Defence tweeted on Monday that, as the war had gone on “beyond Russia’s prewar expectations” its stock of precision-guided weapons had probably been “heavily depleted”.
“This has forced the use of readily available but ageing munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted,” the department said.
Russia would probably struggle to replace the precision weaponry it had already expended, the ministry added.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 09 May 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/ZS4aYLi4O3
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 9, 2022
The MoD’s statement comes on the day that Russia marks the allied victory in the second world war, the day that many analysts believe Russian president Vladimir Putin had hoped to be able to declare victory following his country’s attack on its western neighbour on February 24.
Russia is holding its customary military parade in Moscow on Monday, while UK defence secretary Ben Wallace is due to talk about the war in a speech to a think-tank.
The intelligence assessment pointed out that at the onset of its invasion Russia had “publicly promoted” its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage.
“It stated that Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment,” the ministry said.
However, the department added, that was not possible with the less accurate weapons now being used.
“Russia has subjected Ukraine’s towns and cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardments with little or no regard for civilian casualties,” the MoD said.