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Ukraine. Shooting down the Kinzhal missile. Expert: Putin’s miracle weapon is not the only myth debunked during the war

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The Russian army is still dangerous and has great potential, but the experience of last year shows that for many years its capabilities have been seriously overestimated, said military analyst Mariusz Cielma. In his opinion, the shooting down of the Russian Kinzhal missile by the Ukrainians dispels the myth of Vladimir Putin’s “miracle weapon”, but during this war more myths about Moscow’s military power have been shattered.

– You can say that during ongoing aggression Russia Ukraine, it turned out that the entire Russian army is a myth. For years, Moscow has been designing the strength and building the image of its armed forces. The West succumbed to it, including the military, governments and experts, but apparently – the Kremlin itself also succumbed to it – says Mariusz Cielma, editor-in-chief of “Nowa Technika Wojskowa” in an interview with PAP.

– It’s not about journalism and overly optimistic assessments. The Russian army is still dangerous and has great potential, and we should be aware of this, but the experience of the past year shows that for many years its capabilities were seriously overestimated – adds Cielma.

Expert on shooting down Kinzhal: the war was supposed to be a test

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The Ukrainian armed forces recently reported the shooting down of the Russian Kinzhal (Ch-47) supersonic missile on May 4 by the Patriot system. As Cielma reminds us about this missile Vladimir Putin referred to as a miracle weapon, it was supposed to be a missile that “doesn’t bow down to any Western anti-missile systems.” Flying at supersonic speed, it can hit targets at a range of 2,000 kilometers. Before receiving the Patriots, the Ukrainian military repeatedly indicated that it was one of the types of missiles (apart from the ballistic Iskanders and older Ch-22s) that they were unable to shoot down.

Ch-47M2 Kinzhal suspended under the MiG-31 fightermil.ru

“It was supposed to be indestructible, but it turned out not to be true,” the analyst said. The shooting down of Kinzhal was confirmed by the Pentagon. – War in Ukraine became a test for this missile, but also became a test for the American Patriots. Looks like it brought better news USA than the Kremlin – assesses Cielma.

– For Patriot, shooting down a Russian “super missile” is a big bite to start its operation on Ukraine – says. He explains that the ability to shoot down such advanced missiles as the Kinzhal depends on the equipment of the Patriot system. – We do not know what missiles Ukraine received for the Patriots, we can only guess – he adds.

He reminds that Germany bought Hit-to-Kill anti-ballistic missiles from the US, which do not explode, but precisely hit and destroy the target through kinetic energy. Available photos indicate that such weapons could have been used in Ukraine.

Patriot launchersTwitter @oleksiireznikov

As the expert points out, the shooting down of the Ch-47 is primarily good news for Ukraine. – Patriot systems give Ukraine the beginning of the ability to defend against virtually any type of missile. Of course, two batteries will not cover the entire territory of the country, but they will allow to defend the most important objects, such as cities like Kiev, Kharkiv or Odessa. In conjunction with other elements of air defense that Ukraine received from its allies in the West, this allows it to strive for maximum tight protection – adds Cielma.

The shooting down of the Ch-47 also casts a shadow on the Iskander ballistic missiles that Moscow is proud of. – Kinzhal is actually Iskander, only launched from Mig-31 aircraft (according to Moscow – also Tu-22M) – says the expert.

“The mistakes of the Russians allowed the Ukrainians to regroup and preserve their forces”

– After February 24, we saw that the Russian army is unable to efficiently conduct a joint force operation, i.e. one in which different types of troops cooperate with each other. Its special forces turned out to be a myth, which may have been deservedly considered elite, but due to misuse they have been decimated. It seems that currently the main core of the staff are people who joined the army last year. Among them there are reservists, volunteers, mercenaries and ideologists, but not professionals, Cielma enumerates.

As he adds, the Russian tactical aviation, which was supposed to “immediately dominate” the Ukrainian airspace, failed. – Despite the numerical and qualitative advantage, the mistakes of the Russians enabled the Ukrainians to regroup and preserve their forces, and over time – to develop an effective air defense system. As a result, Russian planes are unable to fly deeper into Ukrainian airspace, and even operating directly over the front line, they run the risk of being shot down, the expert says.

Russian Ka-52 Alligator combat helicopterAndrey Kryuchenko/Shutterstock

– That is why the K-52 Alligator attack helicopter, which was also widely praised by Moscow, suffered heavy losses, and recently it practically does not fly over Ukraine and tries to operate from a safe distance. Perhaps it was also the result of bad decisions of the command. The fact is that it has become an easy target for hand-held launchers, for example for Polish Pioruns and American Stingers, the researcher added.

– The Russians failed to suppress the Ukrainian air defenses. It’s hard to say that the Alligator is a bad helicopter. Perhaps in these conditions, the American Apache would not be much more effective either – says Cielma.

Russia ‘debunks the myth of effective armament’

A similar situation is in the case of the Terminator – an armored support vehicle, which, according to the conceptual assumptions, was to cooperate with tanks and was also presented as a Russian super weapon. – This is a heavily armored machine on a tank chassis, which is to support tanks with crushing firepower, which is possible thanks to autocannons and anti-tank missiles – explains the expert.

Russian soldiers in CrimeaSergei Malgavko/TASS/Forum

– In this case, the very concept of its application turned out to be wrong. In practice, Terminators had to work like tanks – drive up, bombard and run. Attempts to operate with large tank formations from the beginning of the war, for example in Browary near Kiev, turned out to be fatal for the Russians and such an approach was abandoned – explains Cielma.

In his opinion, all this “has consequences not only for the army, but also for the export prospects of the arms industry and may reduce the interest of potential buyers of Russian weapons.”

– For various reasons, the Russians are not doing well in this war, which translates into opinions about their equipment. Russia, which seemed to be the winner, not only because of the weakness of the equipment, but because of the weaknesses of the system, dispels the myth of effective armament, the analyst believes.

Main photo source: mil.ru

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