British Defence Intelligence has decided in its daily Ukrainian briefing to revisit a statement by the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valeriy Zaluzhniy, on 3 November – at the time he claimed that Russia had lost more than twice as many aircraft in Ukraine as in the war in Afghanistan – 278 against 119.
British Intelligence admits it cannot verify this figure, but states Russia’s “continued lack of air superiority” is probably exacerbated by poor pilot training, loss of experienced crews, and increased risk in dense air defense zones.
The situation is unlikely to change in the next few months, the report predicts. They also believe that the number of aircraft shot down far exceeds the capacity to produce new ones. The time needed to train competent pilots is even longer, British intelligence warns.