Use by the Russian Air Force retired pilots working as contractors for Wagner’s private military company to carry out close air support missions for Russian troops, indicates that the Russian Air Force is experiencing a shortage of pilots, according to British intelligence.
“Probably, this is due to a combination of an insufficient number of properly trained pilots and heavy losses in the war against Ukraine,” analysts say.
Specifically, on June 17, Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Su-25 aircraft and captured a ground attack pilot who confessed to being a former Russian Air Force major and taking a job as a Wagner military contractor and performing several tasks for the Russian Air Force.
At the same time, the use of commercial GPS devices by the Su-25 pilot instead of Russian military navigation probably indicates that the “Wagner” aircraft are older models of the Su-25. This can also be explained by the fact that the Russian Air Force does not provide the Wagner PPC with modern avionics equipment.
Last protection Intelligence update on situation in Ukraine – 24 June 2022
Receive from the UK government’s response: https://t.co/eIX58Cf3Y2
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/Xtg5lc4TvO
— Ministry of Defense 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) June 24, 2022
Recall that according to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, our defenders have already shot down 216 enemy planes and 183 Russian helicopters.