The world fright that occurred yesterday after it looked like a Russian missile struck Poland, a NATO member state, seems to have passed.
Russian-Made Missile in Poland Fired by Ukraine?
On Tuesday afternoon, citing a U.S. intelligence official, the Associated Press reported that a Russian missile had struck a farm in Poland, killing at least two people. The Polish government convened a national security meeting while both U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken talked with their Polish counterparts.
However, the Pentagon, from the start, didn’t back that version of events. And now, it seems that what hit the Polish farm was either debris from a Russian missile that was intercepted over Ukraine (the farm is located next to the border with Ukraine) or a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile that either went awry, or that tried to intercept an incoming Russian projectile.
Russian Missile Barrage
On Tuesday, the Russian military launched a salvo of about 100 ballistic and cruise missiles across Ukraine in response to the Ukrainian liberation of Kherson City over the weekend. The missiles largely struck residential areas but also took out the Ukrainian power grid in a lot parts of the country.
“More than 80 Russian missiles struck Ukraine yesterday, killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure. Yet the Kremlin claimed that it would only carry out ‘surgical strikes’ on military targets,” the British Ministry of Defense stated about the largely indiscriminate Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian urban centers and critical infrastructure on Tuesday afternoon.
The Ukrainians are claiming that they shot down 75 out of the 100 ballistic and cruise missiles fired by Russia on Tuesday. The Ukrainian air defenses have certainly improved from the early days of the war when they had to rely on Russian-made weapon systems, mainly the S-300, for mid- and high-range interceptions.
This is increasingly becoming a pattern. A Russian reversal on the ground will be avenged with missile strikes across Ukraine. That was the case when the Ukrainians liberated large swaths of territory near Kharkiv in September, and that was also the case when the Ukrainians partially destroyed the Kerch Bridge that links annexed Crimea with Russia.
The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
And yet, on the ground, where the fates of the war are decided, the Russian military is losing badly and suffering heavy casualties while at it.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 82,710 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 278 fighter, attack, bomber and transport jets, 261 attack and transport helicopters, 2,871 tanks, 1,860 artillery pieces, 5,797 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 393 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,360 vehicles and fuel tanks, 209 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,525 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 160 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 474 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
Expert Biography of Author:
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 Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.