British military intelligence has claimed that Russia has taken a “temporary advantage” along the critical southern front in Ukraine with the deployment of attack helicopters which have allowed Moscow’s forces to fire long-range missiles at Kyiv’s soldiers.
In its latest update on the war in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence has claimed that since the counter-offensive was launched by Ukraine earlier this month, Russia has moved an additional 20 attack helicopters to the Berdyansk Airport, which is located around 100 kilometres behind the southern front and 81 km from Mariupol.
“In the constant contest between aviation measures and counter-measures, it is likely that Russia has gained a temporary advantage in southern Ukraine, especially with attack helicopters employing longer-range missiles against ground targets,” the MoD said in a statement.
The admission comes just one day after an emergency military aid package to Ukraine from the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, and The Netherlands was announced.
The British Ministry of Defence said that the four nations would provide Ukraine with “high-priority air defence equipment”. The military aid package, according to the MoD, has already begun to be delivered and will be completed “within several weeks”.
“The initiative will deliver hundreds of short and medium-range air defence missiles and associated systems required to protect Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure and further ensure the success of counter-offensive operations in coming months,” the ministry said.
Meanwhile, on Saturday morning, Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed that a missile strike successfully destroyed a Ukrainian “decision-making centre” on Friday.
In a statement reported by Russian state media RT, the MoD claimed to have “carried out a group strike with sea and air-based long-range precision weapons against one of the decision-making centres of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”
“The aim of the strike was achieved. The intended facility was hit,” the ministy added, without specifying the location of the alleged command centre. The ministry also published a video purporting to show the strike, with a missile being fired from a Russian naval vessel.
In May, Russia claimed to have bombed Ukrainian “decision-making centres” in Ukraine following an alleged drone attack in Moscow. The Kremlin claimed that the building it struck was “where terrorist attacks on Russian soil were being planned under the guidance of specialists from Western intelligence agencies”.
Vladimir Putin later revealed that the missile strike hit the headquarters of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), saying: “We’ve been talking about the possibility of striking the ‘decision-making centers.’ Naturally, Ukraine’s military intelligence headquarters falls into such a category, and it was hit two or three days ago.”