Russia will continue to launch massive attacks on Ukraine in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian morale and Ukraine’s ability to continue military operations against the Russian Federation, predicts the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in an analysis that was published after the unprecedented strike by Russian forces on the neighboring country since the beginning of the armed invasion in February 2022.
ISW, referring to Friday’s massive missile attack on Ukraineestimates that “the series of attacks carried out by Russia last Friday is the culmination of several months of Russian experiments with various combinations of drones and missiles, as well as attempts to test Ukrainian air defense.”
American analysts recalled that over the past few months, Russian forces carried out a series of attacks on… Ukraine of various scales using various combinations of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
Gathering missiles before a larger impact
“Russia likely intentionally stockpiled various missiles in the fall and early winter of 2023 this year to create a more powerful strike series and apply lessons learned from recent reconnaissance and research missions, namely the use of Shahed drones to bypass Ukraine’s air defense system and the use of missiles to cause maximum damage intended goals” – analyzes ISW.
A US think tank reports that Ukrainian forces did not intercept any of the Kh-22 and Kh-32 missiles or the Kindzhal hypersonic missiles launched on Friday, which may mean that Russian forces were able to successfully apply some of the lessons learned from successful combinations of earlier strikes and that Shahed’s drones likely distracted Ukrainian air defenses.
ISW experts warn that Russia will continue to launch large-scale attacks against Ukraine in an attempt to undermine Ukrainian morale and Ukraine’s ability to continue its military efforts against Russia.
114 “air targets” shot down
As a result of Friday Russia’s attack on Ukraine at least 30 people were killed and 160 people were injured. The Ukrainian Air Force reported that the country was attacked using 158 “air targets”: various types of missiles and Shahed kamikaze drones.
Ukrainian defense shot down 87 missiles and 27 drones.
According to the Supreme Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valery Zaluzhny, the target of the Russian attack was critical infrastructure, as well as industrial and military facilities.
tvn24.pl, Ukrainian Truth
Main photo source: IGOR TKACHENKO/PAP/EPA