Russia “almost certainly” recognizes the threat to its Black Sea Fleet posed by Ukrainian anti-ship missile batteries, the UK’s Ministry of Defense said in its July 26 intelligence assessment on Twitter.
Moscow is likely to prioritize neutralizing these weapons, in order to remove existing constraints on its naval operations, according to the message.
Despite it being impossible to verify the claim, Russia insists that it struck the port of Odesa on July 24 to destroy a stockpile of anti-ship missiles.
“Russia almost certainly perceives anti-ship missiles as a key threat which is limiting the effectiveness of their Black Sea Fleet,” the ministry wrote.
“This has significantly undermined the overall invasion plan, as Russia cannot realistically attempt an amphibious assault to seize Odesa.
At the same time, the assessment also suggested that Russia’s ability to accurately identify targets for its stand-off weapon strikes is systematically undermined by outdated intelligence, poor planning, and rigid top-down operational control.