According to the British Ministry of Defense, the missile shower was intended, among other things, to thwart supplies of Ukrainian troops at the front. The Russians would also try to prevent heavy Western weapons from reaching the battlefield.
After Kyiv and Kremenchug, it was the turn of the southern city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday to be bombed. Here, too, civilian targets were hit. According to the mayor, eight missiles were fired at targets in the city, among them an apartment building. The attacks in Mykolaiv came two days after 18 people were killed in an attack on a shopping mall in Kremenchug.
Ukraine is convinced that Moscow wants to sow fear among the population with all these missile attacks. British intelligence said on Wednesday of the attack on the mall, the Russians may have wanted to destroy the nearby “infrastructure” target, but it was terribly wrong due to the use of an inaccurate missile.
fired from a safe distance
The missile launches once again confirm how difficult missile strikes from a distance and with great accuracy are. With the air force still not in control of Ukrainian airspace after four months of fighting, Moscow is reluctant to deploy fighters on a large scale on the battlefield.
So far, Russia has tried to solve this problem with modern cruise missiles, which are safely launched from warships in the Black Sea. But with about 2,500 missiles launched so far, there is a risk of a shortage of high-tech weapons. The reason why the Russians are now increasingly forced to switch to older and less accurate Soviet-era missiles. These missiles are also launched from a safe distance, over Russia, by Tupolev strategic bombers, among others.
Among the 130 missiles launched since the weekend, according to the commander of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zaluzhny, were several KH-22, according to Kev and London. This is hot, because this missile, developed in the 1960s, is not intended to destroy military targets on Earth at all. With the Kh-22, the Soviet Army wanted, among other things, to harass the American fleet, especially aircraft carriers.
Not very accurate
The anti-ship missile has a length of about 40 feet, a range of 600 kilometers, and flies toward a target five times faster than the speed of sound. After a video first surfaced in May of Tupolev firing of two of these older missiles, London confirmed the Kh-22’s deployment early this month. Dozens are said to have been used since April. Moreover, there are now missiles that were used in recent days.
The Defense Ministry said two weeks ago that “these 5,500-pound missiles were primarily intended to destroy aircraft carriers with a nuclear warhead.” “When deployed for ground attacks, with a conventional payload, they are highly inaccurate, and therefore can cause significant collateral damage and civilian casualties.”
According to London, the Kh-22 attacks will continue, especially as the number of high-tech weapons decreases. “Russian military planners are likely willing to accept a lot of collateral damage if they feel the attack is militarily necessary,” the ministry said.
Moscow’s new missile strategy comes as Ukraine urges the United States to provide air defense systems so it can shoot down Russian missiles. With weapons now available in Kyiv, the Ukrainian army cannot destroy the KH-22 high-speed missiles and modern Russian cruise missiles.
After weeks of insistence by the Ukrainians, the White House relented. President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Monday that Kyiv will soon receive “advanced air defense systems.” It is not clear what weapons were used.
On the latest episode of the daily podcast, defense specialist Stephen Ramdari and former Ukraine correspondent Fleur De Ware talk with Editor-in-Chief Peter Klok about developments on the battlefield.
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