Russian Missiles See Mixed Results in Ukraine War Is World Watching

FILE PHOTO: A police officer examines the remains of a rocket that landed on the street in Kyiv
FILE PHOTO: A police officer examines the remains of a rocket that landed on the street, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022. REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko / File Photo

February 28, 2022

By Josh Smith

(Reuters) – Russia used hundreds of powerful and precise ballistic missiles in the first days of its attack on Ukraine, but US analysts and officials say many of Ukraine’s defenses are still intact. – influences that countries around the world are watching closely.

The use of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) is likely to be closely watched as a case study by China, North Korea and other nations developing increasingly advanced arsenals such as so in recent years. And Western governments that see Russia as an adversary are eager to collect data on the missile’s effectiveness in combat.

Russia had fired more than 320 missiles as of Sunday morning, with the majority of them SRBMs, a US official told reporters.

By US estimates, the initial hours after last week’s Russian attack included more than 100 land- and sea-launched missiles, mostly SRBMs but also cruise and surface-to-air missiles. .

Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that would make it the most intense SRBM bombardment between two contiguous countries in a conflict. .

“What we have seen in Ukraine corresponds to how many military facilities in many countries, including China and North Korea, can think of the use of precision ballistic missiles,” he said. in future conflicts.


According to Timothy Wright, research analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Russia most likely used its only SRBM in active duty.

First used in combat in 2008 in Georgia, the Iskander is designed to jam missile defenses by flying in low orbit and maneuvering in flight to strike targets at range. 500km with an accuracy of 2-5 meters, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“It has the ability to precisely target and destroy what it is being fired at,” Mr. Wright said.

There also seems to be evidence, he said, that Russia used the OTR-21 Tochka SRBM, which is said to be retired. “If these had been kept, Russia might have decided to put them to use instead of getting rid of them.”

What the missiles were targeted at and the extent of the damage they caused remains unclear amid the messy fighting, but analysts say there appear to have been some strikes. into Ukrainian air bases.

An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister said that an Iskander missile launched from Belarus hit an airport in Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine on Sunday.

“We’ve seen some damage at the airfields and it seems pretty accurate,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile researcher at the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies (CNS).

However, some unidentified weapons attacks on air bases have a relatively limited range and in some cases the potential to be lost, such as hitting aircraft that are stored rather than aircraft. not an active aircraft, said Joseph Dempsey, a defense researcher at IISS.

Ukraine has a Russian-made S-300v air defense missile system dating back to the Cold War, which is also resistant to ballistic missiles, Wright said. He added that it is not yet clear whether any Russian missiles were involved and some S-300v vehicles appear to have been destroyed by the airstrikes.

US officials on Sunday said there were indications that some of the Russian missiles had failed to launch.

“That’s not the majority,” the official said. “But we believe some of their launches have been unsuccessful.”

Russia has not yet demonstrated its air and missile capabilities to the fullest extent and is likely to increase its airstrikes in the coming days to degrade Ukraine’s remaining defensive capabilities, including its own defense units. Air Force shot down several Russian planes, the US-based Institute of War said in a report.

Russia’s failure to launch an all-out attack on key Ukrainian assets is a surprising disruption to Russia’s expected activities and likely triggered the defense capabilities of Ukraine, the report said. Ukraine’s opponents are tougher.”

Dmitry Stefanovich, a weapons researcher at the Moscow Institute, said some of Russia’s hesitancy could be attributed to a lack of real-time targeting and reconnaissance data, but given the number of static targets, a word of caution. A more likely explanation is the desire to minimize Ukrainian casualties. of the World Economy and International Relations.

“While the Iskander-M is a very capable and accurate system, the probability of side damage obviously increases with the number and intensity of weapons used,” he said. “If anything involves other SRBM-owning countries, it means those can be used sparingly and with caution, an all-in salvo is not the only option.”


As the heir to the former Soviet Union’s substantial missile arsenal, Russia boasts the largest stockpile of cruise and ballistic missiles in the world, according to CSIS.

But other countries are buying or developing new missiles of their own, due to security concerns and a desire to reduce reliance on other suppliers.

Before this decade is over, Asia in particular will explode with conventional missiles that fly farther and faster, hitting harder and more sophisticated than ever before.

China is mass-producing the DF-26 – a multi-purpose weapon with a range of up to 4,000 km – while the US is developing a new weapon to counter Beijing in the Pacific.

Taiwan and Japan are also beefing up their missile capabilities, as well as defense systems designed to counter missile threats.

On Monday, South Korea’s defense minister said the country would accelerate the development of “long-range, ultra-precise and high-power ballistic missiles… and capable of striking overwhelmingly against war targets. strategy” to counter North Korea’s growing arsenal.

While North Korea has not tested its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since 2017, North Korea has launched a series of new SRBMs, including one that appears to have been influenced by Iskander’s design. .

Like the Iskander, North Korea’s newest missiles – including a “hypersonic” weapon tested in January – are designed to be faster and more agile than older weapons, allowing them to be more capable. ability to evade missile defense systems.

Analysts say that while such SRBMs cannot reach the United States, they could be used in the first wave if a war breaks out, attacking air defenses or air bases. and other targets similar to how Russia used its missiles during the ongoing invasion.

“The North Korean and[Chinese]militaries are taking notice of a lot right now,” said Markus Garlauskas, a former US intelligence officer on North Korea.

(This story changes the name of the Moscow institute to the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, not the Institute of World Economics and Politics)

(Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Gerry Doyle) Russian Missiles See Mixed Results in Ukraine War Is World Watching

Bobby Allyn

USTimeToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button