Ukraine conflict: Use of Wagner contractors indicates Russian air force struggling to support invasion -MoD

The use of Wagner contractors indicates Russian air force struggling to support invasion according to the latest intelligence report from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

In the latest update, the MoD said: “Ukrainian forces have announced that the pilot of a Russian Su-25 FROGFOOT ground attack aircraft shot down on 17 June was captured shortly afterwards.

"The pilot has confessed to being a former Russian air force Major, who had taken employment as a Wagner military contractor and had flown several missions during the conflict.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

"The use of retired personnel, now working as Wagner contractors, to conduct close air support missions indicates that the Russian air force likely is struggling to support the invasion of Ukraine with sufficient aircrew.”

It added: “This is likely due to a combination of Russia’s insufficient numbers of suitably trained personnel and its combat losses.

"Whilst conducting his missions, the Russian pilot reportedly used commercial GPS devices rather than Russian military navigation equipment.

"This likely indicates that Wagner aircraft are older models of the Su-25 and that the Russian air force is not providing Wagner with up-to-date avionics equipment.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad
Smoke billows over the oil refinery outside the town of Lysychansk on June 23, 2022, amid Russia's military invasion launched on Ukraine. (Photo by Anatolii Stepanov via Getty Images)

Yesterday, The European Union agreed to make Ukraine a candidate for EU membership, setting in motion a process that could pull the embattled country further away from Russia’s influence and bind it more closely to the West.

Read More

Read More
EU leaders to back Ukraine as candidate at Brussels summit as MoD says Russian a...

Ukraine applied for EU membership less than a week after Moscow invaded on February 24.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

The decision by the leaders of the 27-nation bloc to grant Ukraine candidate status on Thursday was uncharacteristically rapid for the EU.

The European Parliament endorsed Ukraine’s bid hours before the summit started, passing a resolution that called on EU governments to “move without delay” and “live up to their historical responsibility”.

“It will strengthen Ukraine, it will strengthen Europe. It is a decision for freedom and democracy and puts us on the right side of history,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said ahead of the final announcement.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Before the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that Ukraine never be allowed to join Nato, which he has condemned for its eastward spread toward Russia’s flank.

But earlier this month, he did not seem bothered by Ukraine’s determination to get closer to the EU, saying it is not a military pact and thus “we have no objections”.