Russia using Wagner pilots due to insufficient trained personnel, says UK intelligence

24 June, 01:28 PM
Russia has been forced to use old planes and mercenary pilots due to losses in Ukraine. (Photo:Nik Pilgrim/flickr.com)

Russia has been forced to use old planes and mercenary pilots due to losses in Ukraine. (Photo:Nik Pilgrim/flickr.com)

Russia is using mercenary pilots from the Wagner private military company due to insufficient numbers of suitably trained personnel caused by its combat losses in the war against Ukraine, the UK Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence assessment on June 24.

The ministry noted that Ukrainian forces captured a Russian pilot on June 17 who admitted to being a Wagner mercenary.

The mercenary also reportedly said that he relied on commercial GPS equipment, instead of military-grade avionics, to conduct his missions, which may be a sign of older equipment being pressed into service over major losses in the war against Ukraine, the UK's MoD noted.

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Low morale and dilapidated equipment across the Russian military has been consistently reported by various intelligence and public sources throughout the full-scale invasion. The use of commercial telecom and GPS equipment has also been noted among the Russian ground forces as well.

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