Air defense system upgrades in Ukraine: a critical review after a shooting down of a missile projectile by a Russian soldier using a shoulder-cannon
Zelensky cited a video on Monday that showed a soldier using a shoulder-cannon to shoot down a Russian projectile, which was supposedly a cruise missile.
Until more arrive, there is the risk – all too familiar to the government and people of Ukraine – that the Russian mix of missiles will wreak much greater havoc among the civilian population, especially if the Russians persist with the tactic of using swarms of missiles, inundating air defenses.
The great unknown is how much Russian inventories have been depleted, and whether the Russians will need to use older, less accurate but equally powerful missiles.
Some of that inventory was dispatched this week. Russia has recently used older and less precise KH-22 missiles of which it still has large inventories, according to Western officials. They are designed to take out aircraft carriers. Dozens of casualties were reported at a shopping mall in Kremenchuk in June.
The Russian have been using the air defense missile the S-300 as an offensive weapon. These have wrought devastation in Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv, among other places, and their speed makes them difficult to intercept. But they are hardly accurate.
Zelensky said in a video message Tuesday that 20 of 28 missiles fired at Ukraine that morning had been shot down. Ukrainian officials told CNN that more than half the Russian missiles that were fired on Monday and Tuesday were brought down.
He told CNN’s Richard Quest that this was the “first time from the beginning of the war” that Russia has “dramatically targeted” energy infrastructure.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that Ukraine needed “more” systems to better halt missile attacks. “These air defense systems are making a difference because many of the incoming missiles (this week) were actually shot down by the Ukrainian air defense systems provided by NATO Allies,” he said. “But of course, as long as not all of them are shot down, of course there is a need for more.”
The US has seen some evidence that the Iranian drones have already experienced a lot of failures, said the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.
A new aid package by the US to Ukraine included the first-ever transfer to it of the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, which was designed to shoot down cruise missiles, short-range missile, and aircraft.
Missiles for their existing systems and a transition to Western origin air defense system were included in the wish-list that was sent to Wednesday’s meeting.
He said that the system is intended to control priority targets that theUkrainians need to protect. What you’re looking at really is short-range low-altitude systems and then medium-range medium altitude and then long-range and high altitude systems, and it’s a mix of all of these.”
Western systems are beginning to trickle in. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Tuesday that a “new era of air defense has begun” with the arrival of the first IRIS-T from Germany, and two units of the US National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM) expected soon.
But these are hardly off-the-shelf-items. The IRIS-T had to be manufactured in Ukranian. Governments in the West have limited inventories of such systems. Ukraine is a large country under attack from missiles.
Blast Damage to a Crimean Crossing between the Water and the Battle of Kiev: An Analysis of a Polish Army Decay Truck and X-rays
Poland was thanked by a top military commander for training an air defense battalion that had destroyed nine Shaheeds.
He said Poland had given Ukraine equipment to destroy drones. There were reports last month that the Polish government had bought advanced Israeli equipment and was transferring it toUkraine, which has a policy not to sell advanced defensive technology to Kyiv.
Ukrainian experts quickly dismissed the idea that a Ukrainian Missile had hit the bridge, citing the distance from Ukrainian-held territory as a technical limitation. The United States and other countries that supply arms to Ukraine do not give missiles that travel that far.
But Mykhailo Podolyak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says Ukrainian intelligence believes that Russian forces planned the attack as a pretense to escalate the war in Ukraine.
Podolyak said the bridge incident gives the Russian military a ” convenient alibi” for its losses in southern Ukraine.
He says the Crimean bridge is designed to have a single section of road floating above several piers and detached from other sections. When one span falls into the water, it pulls several other spans with it.
“The damage is consistent with an explosion in the center of a bridge span, as anything else would have caused damage to the pier,” says Barr, who specializes in analyzing blast damage in war zones.
Nick Waters, an analyst with the digital forensics firm Bellingcat, points out that the bridge’s underside shows barely any blast damage, dismissing a popular Ukrainian theory that a special naval operation destroyed the bridge from below.
The video of “examination of the truck” and “X-rays”, which are said to show explosives, was published by the FSB. The frame and the wheels with the “x-ray” didn’t show up. There is a pic.
After Russian state media posted the government’s evidence for a truck bomb — the alleged truck involved and a X-ray scan of its cargo — Ukrainian journalists pointed out that the two images showed different trucks.
Based on how the flames were shooting out from the blast site, Barr thinks that the truck was loaded with special compounds that burned hot enough to cause a passing fuel train to derail.
Mika Tyry, a retired military demolition specialist, told YLE, Finland’s national broadcaster, that the flames and sparks are consistent with a thermite bomb. Russia’s military has been known to use thermite, though Ukraine could have recovered the substance from unexploded Russian munitions.
It is an attack on a guarded structure with advanced explosives that was timed with the train. That is highly suggestive of a carefully planned military operation.
Russian state media said on Wednesday the attack on the bridge was staged by the United States in order to escalate a conflict between Russia and the West.
Putin launched a number of air strikes across Ukrainian territory this week in reaction to what he said was “Ukrainian terrorism” on the bridge. On Monday and Tuesday, Zelenskyy claimed that more than 100 rockets and drones killed 20 people and knocked out essential services in more than half of the country.
John Kirby told CNN on Monday that the Russians couldn’t throw together that kind of thing in a couple days. “This was something not in retaliation, but was really much of a continuation of Putin’s designs over the last several weeks to specifically target Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.”
The municipal mayor’s building in Donetsk was damaged in the rocket attack. There were rows of windows blown out and a partially collapsed ceiling in the building. Cars were burned out near each other. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Kyiv didn’t claim responsibility or comment on the attack.
The attacks came as Russia’s war in Ukraine nears the eight-month mark. Kyiv also reported holding the line in continued fierce fighting around Bakhmut, where Russian forces have claimed some gains amid a seven-week Ukrainian counteroffensive that has led Russian troops to retreat in some other areas.
The main points of resistance on the front line areneighboring towns. In a video address on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that heavy fighting continues in Soledar and Bakhmut.
In the industrialized Donbas region there are towns and cities where Russians have been fighting for control of the territory. The Donetsk region is among four that were illegally annexed by Russia last month.
Russian Counteroffensive against the Zaporizhia Nuclear Plant, a Crime-Probing Site in the Kherson-Kralov Region
Zelenskyy accused Russia of rewarding convicts with long sentences for serious crimes in return for pay and immunity, something thatWestern intelligence officials have also asserted.
In the south of Kherson region, Moscow continued to shell towns and villages along the front line, Zelenskyy’s office said.
The rockets at Nikopol, across from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, damaged power lines, gas pipelines, and a raft of civilian businesses and residential buildings, Ukrainian officials said. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of attacking the nuclear plant, Europe’s largest. The pre-occupation Ukrainian staff runs it.
The region of Zaporizhzhia also was illegally annexed by Russia last month, despite the fact that some 20% of it remains under Ukrainian military control.
Meanwhile, Russia opened an investigation into a shooting in that region Saturday in which two men from a former Soviet republic who were training at a military firing range killed 11 and wounded 15 during target practice, before being slain themselves. The ministry called it a terrorist attack.
France, trying to puncture preconceptions that it has failed in supporting Ukranian, has pledged air-defense missiles and increased military training. The French defense minister said in an interview with Le Parisien that between 2,000 and 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers would be embedded with the military units in France, rotating through for several weeks of combat training, specialized training in Logistics and other needs, and training on equipment supplied by France.
The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank in Washington, has accused Moscow of “massive, forced deportations of Ukrainians” which it said likely amount to ethnic cleansing.
Russian authorities said this week that several thousand children from a southern region occupied by Moscow had been placed in rest homes and children’s camps during the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The original remarks by Russia’s deputy prime minister, Marat Khusnullin, were reported by RIA Novosti on Friday.
Russian authorities have previously admitted to placing children from Russian-held areas of Ukraine, who they said were orphans, for adoption with Russian families, in a potential breach of an international treaty on genocide prevention.
Pro-Kremlin fighters evicted civilians in occupied territory to house officers in their homes, according to the Ukrainian military. It said the evictions were happening in Rubizhne, in the eastern Luhansk region. It didn’t provide evidence to back up its claim.
The commander is wanted for his role in the downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukranian, according to pro-Kremlin commentators. Maksim Fomin and other people have said that the leader of the Russian front-line unit is Strelkov.
Girkin has been on an international wanted list over his alleged involvement in the downing of Kuala Lumpur-bound flight MH17, which killed 298 people. He is the most well-known suspect in a Dutch murder trial with a verdict expected in November.
The posts on Girkin’s social media have lashed out at Moscow’s failures. Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency said Sunday it would offer a $100,000 reward to anyone who captures him.
Putin’s “Heroes of Russia” lecture on alleged aggressions at the Kremlin and the Ukraine’s drone attacks
Speaking after an awards ceremony for “Heroes of Russia” at the Kremlin, he addressed a group of soldiers receiving the awards, clutching a glass of champagne.
At the awards ceremony, Putin continued to list alleged aggressions: “Who is not supplying water to Donetsk? It is a crime to not supply water to a million people.
The reference to Kursk appears to reference Russia’s announcement that an airfield in the Kursk region, which neighbors Ukraine, was targeted in a drone attack. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has offered no comment on recent explosions, including in Kursk, which are deep within Russia. Officially, the targets are well beyond the reach of the country’s declared drones.
What Do We Need in Ukraine? Vladimir Zelensky, Moscow, Putin and the Kremlin don’t talk about the water crisis
He claimed the water situation wasn’t mentioned, ending his off-the-cuff comments. “No one has said a word about it anywhere. At all! There is complete silence. He said that.
Local Russian authorities in Donetsk — which Putin claimed to annex in defiance of international law — have reported frequent shelling of the city this week.
Following President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington, Moscow said the war in Ukraine was going to last 10 months.
Russia’s foreign ministry condemned what it called the “monstrous crimes” of the “regime in Kyiv,” after US President Joe Biden promised more military support to Ukraine during Zelensky’s summit at the White House on Wednesday.
Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the west provides to the Ukrainian government, it won’t achieve anything.
Zakharova said that the tasks set within the framework of the special military operation will be fulfilled, because of the current situation on the ground.
Her comments came after Zelensky delivered a historic speech from the US Capitol, expressing gratitude for American aid in fighting Russian aggression since the war began – and asking for more.
Kyiv has repeatedly asked for the US Army’s Patriot – an acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar for intercept on Target – system, as it is considered one of the most capable long-range air defense systems on the market.
The Kremlin denounced the transaction, which they said would prolong the Ukrainian people’s suffering.
Peskov said that there were no calls for peace. Zelensky stressed during his address to the US Congress that we need peace, a point that was repeated by the 10 point plan devised by Ukraine.
Peskov told reporters that Wednesday’s meeting showed the US was going after Russia in a proxy war.
Russian Defense Minister Ihnat: “Induced Explosion of a Strategic Bomber Air Base on the Volga River”
The Russian state news agencies reported that three Russian soldiers were killed when the Ukrainian drones was shot down over Russian territory.
The incident took place in the western port city of Engels, some 500 miles (more than 800 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, located on the Volga River. This is the second attempted attack on the city in as many weeks, and the airfield is a strategic bomber air base.
The Governor of Saratov Oblast said on Monday that law enforcement agencies were investigating the incident. There were reports of an explosion in the city, and his comments appeared on his official Telegram channel.
There were no emergencies in the residential areas of the city, and no civilian infrastructure had been damaged. He stated that the government would give assistance to the families of the servicemen.
In comments Monday, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat did not claim direct responsibility for the drone, but did suggest the attack was the “consequence of what Russia is doing.”
The Russians were mistaken if they thought that the war wouldn’t affect Russians in the deep rear. Although we see it happening more and more often, we are hopeful that it will benefit Ukraine.
“This reminds of the events of December 5, so there may be some deja vu, some repetition of this situation, after which [the Russians] launched a massive missile strike,” the spokesperson said. Prepare for this and don’t forget to go to the shelter if you have plans to do so.
The explosion that took place in Engels was shown on a closed circuit television camera. The governor reassured residents that no civilian infrastructure was damaged and that information concerning incidents at military facilities was being checked by law enforcement agencies.
Ukranian troops killed in a “Grey Zone” by Putin: “It’s time to realize it won’t be the same as it was before”
Mironov’s comments touched a nerve. He thinks that Putin failed to go far enough with his September call up of 300,000 men. They want the country to be on war footing. They want revenge on the people of Ukraine.
The Russian military is explaining the deadliest attack on Russian forces in Ukranian since the beginning of the war. The Defense Ministry said the use of cellphones was a cause of the attack. Russian troops are not allowed to use cell phones in the field because their signals are being used to kill other Russian forces.
It started with the death toll. The Russian Defense Ministry first stated that 63 soldiers were killed, and then increased that to 89. Ukraine claimed that it was close to 400. But even Russian pro-war bloggers, an increasingly influential element in how Russian civilians get their information about what really is happening in Ukraine, dismissed the official count, estimating that hundreds of troops had died. The true number is not yet known.
Semmon Pegov, who was awarded a medal by Putin, rejected the military’s claim about cell phones, calling it a blatant attempt to taint blame.
The cell phone explanation was called a ‘99% lie’ by “Grey Zone” as an attempt to evade responsibility. He said it might have been an intelligence failure.
The Russian legislature demanded an investigation of who ordered so many troops to be quartered in one building. Sergey Mironov, a prominent politician and party leader, said there should be “personal criminal liability” for any officers or other military personnel who made that decision. And, implying the military had a lax approach to the war, he warned, “It’s time to realize it won’t be the same as it used to be.”
Investigators nonetheless said that “the high bar of full and conclusive evidence is not met,” and that regardless, as a head of state, Putin has immunity from prosecution. The families of the 298 victims were briefed on the findings by the Joint Investigation Team.
On the perpetrator of the massacre at Makiivka: Russia’s response to the Malaysia Airlines attack, which killed 157 people on July 17, 2014
Many of the soldiers who perished at Makiivka came from Samara, a city on the Volga River in southwestern Russia, and the families of those killed are mourning their loved ones, bringing red carnations to a rare public memorial service, as priests led people in prayer and a choir sang the liturgy for the young men who had recently been sent to the front.
The finger of blame is only being pointed at military leaders. The president has made no public comment about the incident, which shows that he intends to be far away from it.
Even in this “open” discussion, several commentators have raised the possibility that “informants” may have tipped off the enemy, a go-to conspiracy theory that Russia’s state-run propaganda outlets often promote. When there is a death in Russia, there is usually a complaint about the lack of care.
Dutch investigators said that there are strong indications that Putin personally approved the decision to give the missiles that shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight.
CNN has reached out to the Kremlin for reaction. Moscow has repeatedly denied any responsibility for the attack, and Russian officials and state media have put out a range of often contradictory explanations for the tragedy.
On July 17, 2014, pro-Russian rebels shot down a Malaysian Airlines plane going from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 157 people on board. All 298 people on board were killed.
Joint investigation into the July 14, 2014 Boeing 777 attack on MH17, DPR and the Dutch Embassy in Kamloops, Ukraine
DPR leaders looked to be in close contact with Kremlin advisers and the Russian intelligence service, according to investigators.
There is a positive decision taken after the request is presented to the president. It’s not clear whether the request explicitly mentions the Buk system. A short time later, heavy air-defense systems were delivered, including the Buk that later shot down MH17.”
The investigative team said that a decision to supply arms had been put off because the person who was making the decision was at a summit in France.
At this point it can’t be determined who was in charge of the equipment that was used to launch the attack on the airliner, what information they had at the time of firing, and why they launched the rocket.
However, members of the Joint Investigation Team said they had insufficient evidence to prosecute Putin or any other suspects and they suspended their 8½-year inquiry into the shooting down that killed all 298 people on board the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Russia has always denied being part of the downing of the plane in July of 2014, and refused to cooperate with the investigation.
“Although we speak of strong indications, the high bar of complete and conclusive evidence is not reached,” Dutch prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer said, adding that without Russian cooperation, “the investigation has now reached its limit. All leads have been exhausted.”
She said that Putin would be free from prosecution in the Netherlands as head of state. The team played a recording from a phone call that they said was from Putin and he talked about the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The case against Moscow over the shooting down of a Buk missile in eastern Ukraine, revealed by the Dutch and Ukrainian governments at the European Court of Human Rights
“Are we disappointed? No, because we think we came further than we had ever thought in 2014. Would we have liked to go farther? “Of course, yeah,” said Andy Kraag of Dutch police.
They wanted to know why the plane was shot down. The answer to why the plane was shot down still remains in Russia, even though we know what happened.
Van Boetzelaer said that while the investigation is being suspended, phone lines will remain open for possible witnesses who may still want to provide evidence. If that happens, the inquiry could be reactivated.
The criminal trial that was held in the Netherlands, is one of the reasons why the Dutch and Ukrainian governments have sued Russia at the European Court of Human Rights.
In November, the convictions said that Moscow was in overall control of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the area in eastern Ukraine where the missile was launched. The Buk missile system came from the Russian military’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, based in the city of Kursk.
The findings revealed Wednesday will likely strengthen the case at the human rights court and could also be used by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court who are investigating possible war crimes in Ukraine dating back to the start of the separatist conflict.