FT: Western intelligence records the transfer of Russian aircraft to the border with Ukraine for the “air campaign”

FT: Western intelligence detects Russian air force moving to Ukrainian border for 'air campaign'

Russia is relocating military aircraft and helicopters to the border with Ukraine, this may indicate the transition of the war into a new phase. This is reported by the Financial Times, citing two Western officials familiar with the intelligence of NATO countries.

One of the behind-the-scenes officials said that the Russian ground forces were depleted, so the Kremlin could bet on aviation. A senior NATO diplomat clarified that about 80% of Russian military aviation could now be involved in hostilities.

“We expect that they are preparing to launch an air campaign and (so — ed.) are trying to (disable — ed.) Ukraine's air defense with their attacks,” he said.

The publication notes that on Tuesday he spoke about the threat of more active use of Russian aviation with Ukraine's allies and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin. At the meeting, Austin “made it very clear that we don't have much time to help the Ukrainians prepare for the (Russian — ed.) offensive, and that they (the Ukrainians — ed.) have some pretty specific needs.”

“Ukraine is telling us they need ammunition and more air defenses,” a Western official confirmed to the FT.

According to FT sources, the discussion of these supplies came to the fore, pushing back negotiations on the supply of fighter jets to Kiev.

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