Status: 10.12.2023, 14:08 PM
By: Victoria Krumbeck
Ukraine has seen numerous attacks on Russian bases as a success. Further air strikes are possible, but the means are lacking.
Kyiv – Ukrainian forces have already managed to take out Russian helicopters in the Ukraine war several times. Missile strikes, such as those in the occupied Luhansk and Berdyansk regions in October, destroyed not only the aircraft but also other military equipment. The risk of losing further equipment as a result of the Ukrainian attacks is high for Russia. After all, despite the relocation of bases, Ukraine could also reach locations further away. But the West's dwindling support poses a challenge.
Russia relocates base for fear of Ukraine attacks
The Russian Air Force helicopter base in Chaplynka, which is located about 40 kilometers south of the Dnipro River, is particularly at risk from Ukrainian attacks. For example, Ukrainian rocket launchers and drones could soon have the range needed to inflict major damage on Russia. As Forbes reported, Russia is said to have moved some of its helicopters stationed in Chaplynka to the resort of Strilkove, about 150 kilometers away from the Dnipro front line.
An ATACMS missile of the US military is launched. (Archive image) © U.S. Army/Avalon/IMAGO
This is to be shown by satellite images examined by the analysis group "Frontelligence Insight". Clues were found that point to around 20 helicopters standing within a fenced area. "The evacuation and relocation of the Chaplynka airbase [...] illustrates Russia's need to establish new hidden locations due to concerns about possible attacks," Forbes quoted a remark from Frontelligence Insight. The Ukrainian military will also have already seen these images.
Already last month, the Ukrainian Air Force reportedly fired Stormshadow cruise missiles at a headquarters in Strilkove, according to Forbes. There was also an attack on the base on 5 December. "Given the growing range of Ukrainian weapons, this pattern will continue," Frontelligence Insight said.
Despite "growing reach": Fewer weapons for Ukraine – US with dwindling support
Nevertheless, Ukraine has a problem. The weapons used to carry out the attacks largely came from the Western allies. The attack on the helicopter base in Berdyansk and Luhansk was carried out with ATACMS missiles that Ukraine received from US Army stockpiles. According to Forbes, around half of Ukraine's low-impact weapons could come from the allies.
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Ukraine's attacks on Russian bases are effective, but they are decreasing. This may indicate that Ukraine's stockpile of low-impact weapons is nearing its end. For six weeks, the Ukrainian army has reportedly stopped using ATACMS missiles. It is possible that the supply of missiles has already been fully exhausted. Support for Ukraine is dwindling in the West. This was recently made clear by a Senate vote in the USA, in which Republican lawmakers voted against billions in aid for Ukraine.
Weapons for Ukraine: Hungary and Bulgaria criticize support
In the EU, too, agreement on financial support for Ukraine is becoming more difficult. Hungarian President Viktor Orbán is making sure of that. The latter is threatening to block the budget aid of 2027 billion euros intended for Kiev until 50 and to oppose the accession talks, as Reuters reported. It would not be the first time that Orbán has tried to prevent financial aid to Ukraine. However, the remaining 26 EU states want to find a solution, if necessary without Hungary to provide Ukraine with financial resources, a senior anonymous EU official told Reuters. For example, the EU could grant a smaller amount for a shorter period of time or expand national contributions bilaterally.
Similar to Hungary, the Bulgarian president also speaks out against arms deliveries to Ukraine. President Roumen Radev vetoed the agreement between the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to supply old Soviet-era infantry fighting vehicles (APCs) to Ukraine. However, the veto was lifted by the Bulgarian National Assembly on December 8, as reported by The Sofia Globe. Around 100 armored personnel carriers, as well as spare parts and available armament, are to be delivered to Ukraine, according to Euromaidan Press. (UK)