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Can Russia Hit Ukraine With Enough Missiles to Win the War?

Tu-22 carrying KH-22 missile.

On day 230 of the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin is still trying to deal with the humiliating incident that partially destroyed the Kerch Bridge that links Crimea and Russia.

A Day Full of Missiles Hitting Ukraine

On Monday, the Russian military launched nearly 200 ballistic and cruise missiles against over 20 Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, the second-largest city, Kharkiv, and the third-largest city and biggest port, Odesa. The Russian salvo continued on Tuesday, too, though at a much lighter level.

But the Ukrainian military is becoming better at locking on and shooting down Russian missiles. At the start of the war, the Ukrainian forces could down perhaps one in ten missiles, but now they can take out more than 50 percent of what the Russian forces launch.

The tremendous improvement in the shooting down of Russian ballistic and cruise missiles is a result of the weapon systems and electronic warfare sensors that Ukraine has received from the West.

Russian Casualties in Ukraine 

Meanwhile, the Russian forces continue to suffer a steady stream of casualties in Ukraine. Although the entire numbers that the Ukrainians are claiming haven’t been verified independently yet, open-source investigators have corroborated a large portion of the Ukrainian claims.

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 63,110 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 268 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 235 attack and transport helicopters, 2,504 tanks, 1,496 artillery pieces, 5,162 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 353 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,916 vehicles and fuel tanks, 181 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,114 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 136 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 295 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Change of Command 

The repeated failures of the Russian military in Ukraine have brought several changes of command up and down the military chain of command.

The latest took place on October 8 when the Russian Ministry of Defense appointed General Sergei Surovikin as the overall commander of the special military operation in Ukraine.

For the better part of the first months of the war, the Russian forces lacked a centralized command and instead relied on three different regional commands that had little communication among them—a further testament to how unprepared the Russian military was for the war.

Surovikin was promoted from his position as commander of the Russian military’s southern grouping forces responsible for Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

TOS-1A Ukraine

TOS-1A fighting in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

“Surovikin’ s appointment likely reflects an effort by the Russian national security community to improve the delivery of the operation. However, he will likely have to contest with an increasingly factional Russian MOD which is poorly resourced to achieve the political objectives it has been set in Ukraine,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.

Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.



  1. 403Forbidden

    October 11, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    The relevant action is not more missiles but a direct hit by a tactical nuke against Lviv the gateway for many NATO supplied weapons going into the proxy war.

    The bridge bombing is state directed terror as it involved a civvy vehicle bomb.

    Thus Russia has now been given legit cause to employ a nuke or two against the terror culprit(s) as the act was planned & carried out by ukros secret service with technical advice provided by their US counterparts.

    The bridge bombing came after the explosions against the pipelines carrying Russian gas to western Europe that bypass Ukraine.

    They are acts carried out by nefarious sabotage and espionage groups active in the Ukraine conflict and the only way to stop them in their tracks is the use of tactical nukes.

    Now is the time to use nukes BEFORE US president starts providing the nefarious groups with US hypersonic weaponry.

  2. TheDon

    October 11, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    WWII, Afganistan,viet-nam.
    The population gets tired of their loved ones deaths for the irrational reasoning of a single leader.

  3. Earle

    October 12, 2022 at 1:52 am

    the report title was never answered…can ruskis win with missiles only

  4. h

    October 12, 2022 at 4:10 am

    Well, 403Forbidden, seeing that the truck apparently came from the Russian city of Krasnodar, presumably you would need to drop a tactical nuke there?

  5. Froike

    October 12, 2022 at 10:42 am

    Russia is Terrorizing Ukrainian Civilians with Missile Strikes. That being said, from a Tactical Point of View…Putin is wasting Missiles on Civilian, not Military Targets. He does not have a limitless supply.
    NATO would be wise to stop diddling around and send Ukraine more Anti Missile Defense Systems. They should also send Tanks and IFV’s to end this illegal/immoral invasion.

  6. Ross

    October 12, 2022 at 11:01 am

    The Russian trolls laughably calling for the mass killing of civilians with nuclear bombs are just 5-year-olds screaming “look at me” from the basement of their parent’s home in a crap-hole country. Best just to ignore them.

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