Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en), advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and self-proclaimed “Official enemy of Russian propaganda,” shared a 15-second-long video of a Russian Iskander mobile launcher on the side of a highway in an apparent traffic accident.
Late for Its Rehearsal
The incident reportedly occurred as the 9K720 Iskander was being transported to the rehearsal of the Victory Day Parade when it crashed into the road barrier last week.
Traffic was already blocked in the city center due to the parade setup, and the accident further impacted travel around the Russian city.
This week’s Victory Parade in St. Petersburg, just one of several around Russia to mark the Soviet Red Army’s victory in the Second World War, has already been scaled back.
In addition, more than 20 Russian cities won’t hold Victory Day parades at all this year.
The Kremlin has cited security, but Western analysts have suggested that Russia may simply not have the military hardware available for numerous events as vast numbers of tanks and other vehicles have been sent to Ukraine to bolster losses in the 14-month-long war.
In addition, some Russian officials may fear a backlash as the Russian Army reportedly lost over 200,000 soldiers in the fighting and may seek to downplay the ongoing war.
The 9K720 Iskander in the Crosshairs
The 9K720 Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile system was developed during the final years of the Cold War, but it wasn’t tested until 1996 and only entered service in 2006. The tactical missile system was designed to strike adversary low-sized and site targets to a range of up to 500 kilometers.
The Iskander (Western reporting name SS-26 Stone) is equipped with two solid-propellant single-stage guided missiles, and targets can be located by satellite and aircraft as well as by conventional intelligence, including an artillery observer or from aerial photos scanned into a computer.
The missiles can be retargeted during flight, and the optically-guided warheads can also be controlled via encrypted radio transmissions, including those from an AWACS or a drone.
In addition, the platform has also been adapted for use as an anti-ship platform. In the summer of 2019, Russia conducted two simulated “electronic launches” of the Iskander-M against targets in the Black Sea.
The Iskander saw use in the Russo-Georgian War and the Syrian Civil War and the platform remains employed with the Russian military in Ukraine.
As previously reported, the Kremlin’s forces fired hundreds of short-range ballistic missiles at Ukrainian targets in the opening stages of the war in Ukraine and Iskander missiles played a feature role in that bombardment.
Russian media report that an Iskander drove into a fence in St Petersburg.
That’s all you need to know about the Russian army. pic.twitter.com/KO5lsIDVBl
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) May 4, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.