Justin Bronk

Justin Bronk is the Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology in the Military Sciences team at RUSI. He is also Editor of the RUSI Defence Systems online journal.

The West shouldn’t underestimate Russia in Ukraine

Russia’s winter offensive appears to have begun with a decidedly underwhelming series of operations in the Donbas. So far results have ranged from grinding and very costly victories in the towns of Krasna Hora and Soledar, to an outright disaster at Vuhledar where most of Russia’s 155th Naval Infantry Brigade was destroyed, and its commanding officer killed, after

Why the West is reluctant to give Ukraine F-16s

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine almost a year ago, the questions of if, when and how to supply the Ukrainian Air Force (UkrAF) with western fighter aircraft have been a matter of fierce debate. President Zelenskyy has made repeated and impassioned calls for American-made F-16s in particular, as have UkrAF leaders and pilots.   Russia

Don’t write off the Russian air force

The Russian air force’s  failure to establish air superiority over Ukraine – and the consequent inability of its fighter and bomber aircraft to meaningfully affect the course of the war – has been one of the defining features of the invasion so far.    It has even become almost a given in policy and public discussion that

Why Russia failed to dominate the skies over Ukraine

In the run up to the Russian invasion in February airpower analysts, including this author, were gloomy about Ukraine’s ability to defend its airspace. Even the more optimistic assessments assumed that Russia would mount a significant air campaign to destroy the Ukrainian Air Force on its airbases, coupled with large-scale strikes with stand-off cruise and

Ukraine defeats Russia in Kharkiv

What began as a probing attack by Ukrainian mechanised forces towards the occupied town of Balakliia on 7 September has, with astonishing swiftness, turned into one of the most emphatic military victories in modern history. Having found a weak point in the Russian lines at Balakliia, Ukrainian forces swiftly advanced overnight to the town of Volokhiv

Ukraine’s Kherson offensive may have already been a success

The Ukrainian armed forces launched a long–awaited offensive on Kherson this week. However, the counter-offensive was signalled for so long by both Ukrainian and western sources that the Russian army had plenty of time to significantly reinforce its positions there, meaning that the Kherson front is now more heavily manned by Russian troops than most

How Ukraine is sabotaging Russia’s army

Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SOF) or possibly partisan fighters have conducted successfully attacks on three significant targets in occupied Crimea since 10 August. An initial attack on the Saki airbase caused a fire that quickly spread to stored ammunition and fuel, resulting in multiple huge secondary explosions. These destroyed at least nine Russian fast jets

Is the war slipping away from Ukraine?

After the decisive failure of Russia’s attempt to overthrow the government of Ukraine by seizing Kyiv, Kharkiv and other key cities in February and March 2022, Russia has concentrated its depleted forces in the Donbas and set itself far more limited objectives. In the two months since its retreat from the north of Ukraine, Russia has

Inside Russia’s military collapse in Ukraine

The Russian military has performed far worse in Ukraine than anyone could ever have predicted. After failing to take Kyiv, Russian troops have now been forced to focus on the Donbas region. Despite this greater concentration of forces, they are still struggling to make any major gains beyond the final capture of Mariupol, which had

Russia and Ukraine’s fate is about to be decided

The first phase of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has ended with a decisive defeat for Russian forces in the north of the country. The large scale Russian advances in the north west and north east were halted in the outskirts of Kyiv. Russian forces failed to take the encircled north eastern cities of Chernihiv,

Why Russian tactics won’t win the war

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second month, the war has settled into a largely attritional struggle – and the picture is very different across the various fronts. Russian forces have been forced on to the defensive in many areas. The Russian ministry of defence has announced that the ‘first phase’ of the invasion

The Russian army is running out of momentum

As the Russian invasion enters its fourth week it is clear that its forces are running out of momentum, although they continue to make limited territorial gains in the south and east of Ukraine. Having been denied a quick victory over Ukraine itself, Putin now needs to force the Ukrainian government to accept a ceasefire

Why hasn’t Russia been able to stop Ukraine’s drone attacks?

Among the many weapons being used by the Ukrainian military to inflict losses on the Russian invasion forces, several have risen to prominence in the country and on social media. Alongside ‘St Javelin’ and the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ which have mythologised the eponymous anti-tank missile and the Ukrainian air force’s Mig-29 fighters, the Bayraktar TB-2

Putin’s dream of annexing Ukraine is over

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, it is becoming abundantly clear that the Kremlin’s maximalist geopolitical aims of regime change and a ‘greater Russia’ which includes Ukraine and Belarus are no longer achievable. The question now is how much damage will Russian forces inflict on Ukrainian cities and their brave defenders

The Russian army is failing – but not enough to lose the war

There have been three major surprises for military analysts since the Russian military invaded Ukraine. The first has been the extent of the difficulties faced by the Russian army in terms of logistics, coordination of forces, morale and mobility. The second has been the failure of the Russian air force to achieve air superiority over