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The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has obtained a large volume of classified official documents from the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya), a structural unit of the Russian Ministry of Transport, as a result of a successful special cyber operation.

The Main Intelligence Directorate announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

Rosaviatsiya is responsible for ensuring flight safety and registering all emergencies during the operation of aircraft in Russia.

According to the statement, the data obtained as a result of the hacking and penetration of enemy information systems includes a list of Rosaviatsiya’s daily reports throughout Russia over a period of more than a year and a half. "Their analysis shows that the civil aviation sector of terrorist Russia is on the verge of collapse," the Main Intelligence Directorate said in the statement.

According to the statement, 185 air incidents were reported in the Russian civil aviation sector in January 2023. About a third of them were classified as incidents of various degrees of severity. Most of them involved the Russian short-haul aircraft Sukhoi Superjet (34 problematic incidents).

In the first nine months of 2023, 150 cases of technical malfunctions in aircraft were reported in Russia, up from 50 in the same period in 2022. "This means that the level of flight risk in Russia has tripled," the intelligence directorate said.

The most problematic areas of Russian aircraft are engines and airframes, as well as other critical elements such as hydraulic systems, flaps, and software. Russia has serious difficulties with the maintenance of high-flying aircraft. Because of the lack of capacity and specialists, Russia is trying to outsource aircraft maintenance to Iran, where the relevant work is performed "artisanally" without the appropriate certification.

Russia had about 820 foreign-made civil aircraft in operation as of March 2022. As of that time, only up to 10% of them had undergone uncertified maintenance using non-authentic spare parts, compared with almost 70% today.

The acute shortage of spare parts has led to the so-called "aircraft cannibalization," in which some aircraft are dismantled to provide spare parts for the repair of others. According to the data obtained, more than 35% of the aircraft in Russia had been "cannibalized" by mid-2023.

Most of the Soviet-era An-2 aircraft are currently grounded because their engines were manufactured in Poland, but the supply of these engines has been suspended because of sanctions. In January 2023 alone, 19 different technical failures were registered among the 220 Airbus aircraft in Russia. In particular, 17 cases of smoke were registered on aircraft operated by the Aeroflot airline.

Among the 230 Boeing aircraft operating in Russia, 33 technical failures of various aircraft systems were reported. Technical failures were also reported on 3 of the 21 Brazilian-made Embraer aircraft operating in the country.

In September 2022, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) red-flagged Russia, along with Liberia and Bhutan, citing a "significant safety concern" (SSC) regarding the country's ability to properly oversee commercial aircraft under its jurisdiction.

The Main Intelligence Directorate emphasized that an analysis of the nature of the flight incidents mentioned in the obtained documents indicates that several of the reported failures, in particular those related to engines, landing gear, and wings, are systemic.

"The corresponding reality is a direct consequence of sanctions, of which the most painful for the aggressor state of Russia were the ban on the supply of aircraft and spare parts for them; the complete denial of maintenance and servicing; the denial of software updates; the seizure of Russian aircraft abroad; the restriction of access to meteorological information for air navigation," the Main Intelligence Directorate said.