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Putin Is a Monster: Russia Is Smashing Ukraine with Missile Strikes

Ukraine Drone Attack on Russian Armor. Image Credit: Screenshot.
Ukraine Drone Attack on Russian Armor.

After weeks of absence, Russian missile strikes are back. And Ukraine is paying the price

In the last few days, dozens of Ukrainians have been killed and wounded in indiscriminate missile attacks. But despite the casualties, Ukraine is now able to better deal with Russian ballistic and cruise missiles thanks to U.S. and Western support. 

Russian Missile Strikes and Ukrainian Energy 

The last couple of days saw more waves of Russian missiles. On Friday, the Russian military launched 23 cruise missiles against Ukraine, killing more than 25 people. Then on Monday, the Russian forces struck again with another wave of missiles. 

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian air defenses intercepted 15 out of the 18 cruise missiles; using strategic bombers, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a combination of Kh-101 and Kh-555 cruise missiles. 

“I am grateful for those who protect Ukraine’s skies, and the United States will continue to work hard and fast to support them and their ability to defeat Russia’s barbaric attacks on the people of Ukraine,” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said after the latest missile barrage.

The latest attacks aren’t targeting critical infrastructure but urban centers and transportation nodes.

“The attacks suggest a departure in Russia’s use of long-range strikes. The wave involved fewer missiles than those over the winter and was unlikely to have been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in an intelligence update over the weekend. 

“There is a realistic possibility that Russia was attempting to intercept Ukrainian reserve units and military supplies recently provided to Ukraine,” the British Military Intelligence assessed. 

Russian Missiles versus Ukrainian Energy 

Russia’s campaign to plunge Ukraine into total darkness has failed. Since October, the Russian military has launched more than 1,300 cruise missiles against Ukraine, targeting the power grid and urban centers. As evidenced by the last couple of days, small-scale missile strikes continue, but their impact is bound to be lower compared to a few months ago. 

To begin with, the winter is over, and the threat of freezing Ukraine to death isn’t there anymore. Ukraine has worked hard to rebuild its networks and is sourcing replacement parts for damaged critical components.

In addition, the Ukrainian military has vastly improved its air defenses with the introduction of modern weapon systems. The U.S.-led coalition of international partners has provided or committed to providing Ukraine with the MIM-104 Patriot air defense system, National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), and the IRIS-T air defense system, among other weapon systems. 

Kyiv is experiencing shortages in munitions, as the Pentagon leaks show, but it is still in the fight. The Ukrainian military needs more air defense munitions and weapon systems to sustain its operations. 

Moreover, the Russian missile stocks have depleted to a large degree, and Western sanctions restrict the Russian defense and aerospace industry from manufacturing enough to keep up pace with the demands of the war.

We should highlight, however, that the Russian military continues to target Ukrainian urban centers close to the frontlines with artillery and rocket launchers. Ukrainian air defenses aren’t designed to intercept these kinds of munitions.

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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.