March 5, 2024

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Russia prepared a massive air strike on Ukrainian cities for several months: this is how it worked |  Ukraine-Russia war

Russia prepared a massive air strike on Ukrainian cities for several months: this is how it worked | Ukraine-Russia war

Everything seems to indicate that Russia has meticulously prepared for the massive air strike carried out yesterday on a whole series of Ukrainian cities. This was stated by the American research center “Institute for the Study of War” (ISW). In recent months, Moscow has been building up a stockpile of missiles of different types and testing combinations of them in an attempt to find the ultimate combination to evade Ukrainian air defenses and cause as much damage as possible. The result was perhaps the largest air raid since the beginning of the invasion.

According to the Ukrainian army, 160 missiles and drones were launched yesterday, 115 of which were launched from the sky. The rest hit cities such as Kiev, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odessa and even Lviv in the west. In addition to military infrastructure, a maternity hospital, schools, shopping centres, residential buildings and warehouses were targeted. At least 30 people were killed and 160 injured.

look. Pictures show how a missile hit a residential building in Kiev

According to ISW, the fact that Moscow was able to hit so many targets is the result of comprehensive preparation. “In recent months, the Russian military has carried out a series of attacks with drones and missiles. Various combinations of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles were used.”

The drones (in this case the Iranian Shahed drones) were supposed to test Ukrainian air defenses and learn the most effective attack methods. Drones thus allow other missiles to reach their target more efficiently. That is why only drones or a combination of drones and fewer missiles are used in such (test) attacks.

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Some Shahed-136 aircraft that the Russians buy from Iran. © RV

Meanwhile, Moscow appears to have tested which combination of drones and missiles was most effective, according to ISW. This mixture was used yesterday in the massive attack on Ukraine. In contrast, the tests were conducted with a small number of drones (36) and up to 120 missiles of different types.

In recent months, Moscow has likely deliberately built up a stockpile of missiles of different types so that it can use the most diverse arsenal possible on Friday.

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“Ukraine did not significantly intercept any Kh-22/Kh-32 ballistic missiles (S-300 and Iskander-Ms), Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missiles (Kh-47s), Kh-31P anti-radar missiles, and Kh-31P anti-radar missiles. for radar.” ISW said: 59 cruise missiles were launched by the Russians on December 29. He added: “This indicates that the Russian military succeeded in successfully applying the knowledge it gained during the test attacks. They used an effective combination of drones and missiles. The witness drones that preceded the missiles were able to distract the Ukrainian air defenses so that the missiles were able to hit the target.”

France Press agency
© Agence France-Presse

Afghan National Police/EPA
© National Police Agency / Environmental Protection Agency

According to the research center, Russia is likely to carry out intensified attacks in the coming days. This was also the case at New Year's last year.

However, Russia's reserves of drones and missiles and its current production capacity do not appear to allow carrying out very large-scale missile attacks on a regular basis, the Institute for the Study of War concluded.

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