The initiative passes to Ukraine at the strategic level.
For the second day in a row, drones have been attacking Russian air bases. Air bases near Saratov, Ryazan and Kursk were targeted. How does this change the course of the war?
Israel Defense Forces officer Yigal Levin commented on the drone attacks for the Charter97.org website.
— It was the Russian media who said that these were Ukrainian drones. Ukraine did not come with such statements, it is significant. Let's say strikes on particular Russian air bases. What exactly it was - missiles, drones, sabotage-reconnaissance groups or some kind of partisans, that’s secondary, it is not particularly important, because the very fact of the attack is important. As in the case of the Crimean bridge, it doesn’t matter how, it is important that it is vulnerable. The same is true for air bases. We are seeing that for two days. This suggests that this is a trend already, and not some kind of an exception to the rule, not an accident.
— Can we talk about the changed tactics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine?
— This is an initiative at the strategic level. It is assumed that you strike first and the enemy must react. Yesterday, a Russian missile attack on Ukraine was a retaliatory one. Russia needs to adapt, it is forced to react. This suggests that the initiative is passing to Ukraine at a strategic level. And if such attacks continue, similar events continue at their airbases, this will indicate a trend where Russia will have to adjust all the time.
This completely changes the entire balance of power, because now they cannot impose their will and force Ukraine to do something. Now there is a situation where Russia needs to think about how to defend its bases in the rear. Engels base, for example, is located at a distance of more than 600 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. This is the first important point, a psychological one.
The second, practical point, is that Russia does not have enough air defence systems, they have to take their systems from Syria and deploy them in the country. Now they will face a dilemma: continue to use air defence at the frontline or "shove" them into air bases throughout Russia. There are many air bases in the Russian Federation, I am talking about military bases, many strategic targets and all kinds of military facilities. And not all of them are completely covered by air defence. There are facilities with no air defence systems at all, so they will have to take air defence systems from the frontline. And if they leave the frontline, then this will give more freedom to Ukrainian aviation, more freedom to Bayraktars and other systems.
Therefore, we see that Russia has gotten into a no-win situation from all points of view. If they leave their air defence at the frontline, then their military bases in the rear are not protected. If they remove them from the front, then by doing so they expose it. Thus, it affects the tactics of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.