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British intelligence tells why the occupiers are attacking Zmeinyi Island and points to the aggressor's losses

A Russian Su-24M bomber was shot down near Zmeinyi

The crew of a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber that was shot down by the Ukrainian military near Zmeinyi Island on December 5, consisting of two people, is likely dead. With such attacks on the island, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, Russia is trying to demonstrate that it can project power across the Black Sea.

This is stated in the operational summary of the UK military intelligence, released on December 8. The agency believes that the Russian plane was most likely shot down by a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile fired from an anti-aircraft missile system (SAM).

British intelligence tells why the occupiers are attacking Zmeinyi Island and points to the aggressor's losses

Since the summer of 2023, Russia has continued to conduct high-risk strike operations involving crews on the island, the report says.

"This is likely to be mainly for information sharing reasons, as the island has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance and Russia wants to demonstrate that it can project power across the Black Sea," the British intelligence service said.

The two-person crew of the Su-24 is likely dead, as the location and operating conditions make a search and rescue operation extremely difficult. Both sides continue to suffer regular losses of combat aircraft, the report says.

"Overall, air defenses continue to severely limit the effectiveness of tactical air operations," the British intelligence noted.

British intelligence tells why the occupiers are attacking Zmeinyi Island and points to the aggressor's losses

As reported by OBOZ.UA, on December 5, the Ukrainian Armed Forces shot down an enemy Su-24 bomber near Zmeinyi Island. The enemy aircraft tried to launch a missile and bomb attack on the south of Odesa region.

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