Espreso. Global

Wreckage of Russian missiles flying at Kyiv analyzed by experts. Column by Serhiy Zgurets

12 December, 2023 Tuesday

The Air Force did not announce the type of missiles. Defense Express contacted experts who analyzed the missile debris at various sites. Specialists reported that Russia fired 48N6DM anti-aircraft missiles at the S-400 air defense system

Night attack on Ukraine and Kyiv

On the night of December 11, Russia attacked Ukraine with Shahed drones from the occupied Crimea, as well as with ballistic missiles. Ukraine's air defense destroyed 18 Shahed drones and 8 missiles. As for the missiles, the Russian troops struck the Kyiv region at about 4 a.m. from Bryansk region. The Air Force did not announce the type of missiles. We contacted experts who analyzed the missile debris in different areas where it was found. The Defense Express agency was informed that these were 48N6DM anti-aircraft missiles for the S-400 air defense system.

For the first time, such missiles from the S-400 system were used to strike Kyiv on January 14 this year. Then there were several more attempts. The 48N6DM missile has a longer range than missiles for the S-300 system. It has a warhead weighing 180 kg and a range of 250 km. The maximum speed of this missile for the S-400 system is 2.5 km per second. That is, the flight of this missile to 200 km takes only a few minutes. That is, first there were explosions of the air defense system, and then the air raid alert sounded.

All 8 missiles, as reported by the Air Force Command, were destroyed by anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Command Center. And this is extremely effective. We don't know what the Patriot, SAMP/T or IRIS-T missiles were shot down with - it doesn't matter, the main thing is the result. We do not rule out that Russia will continue to use the S-400 to strike Kyiv. Kyiv residents should take these risks into account.

About the front line

The overall intensity of hostilities has increased by about a quarter compared to the previous week. Currently, there are up to 100 clashes per day. Russia is trying to regain the initiative in some areas. The most active fighting is taking place in the areas of Avdiivka, Marinka, Bakhmut, and Kupyansk.

On December 11, the Land Forces commander spoke in detail about Russia's attempts to conduct combat operations in the Kupyansk area, with offensives on Synkivka. Syrskyi also said that the Russian forces have intensified combat actions in the Lyman direction in order to push Ukrainian troops beyond the Zherebets River.

Also, Russia's efforts are concentrated around Bakhmut - to the north, south and west of this settlement, which has already been destroyed, but the Russian army is trying to replay the results of the fighting around Bakhmut in a new way. They are trying to conduct combat operations in the direction of Bohdanivka, moving towards Khromove. A few days ago, they had success between Bakhmut and Ivanivske. And now they are trying to move towards Ivanivske. These are the general touches that we know.

map Bakhmut

Oles Malyarevych, a sergeant with the Achilles company of the 92nd separate assault brigade named after Ivan Sirko, said that to the south of Bakhmut, Russia continues to conduct strike and assault operations, trying to regain lost ground. Klishchiivka, Andriivka and the railroad are extremely important for them. The invaders are trying to push back the Ukrainian Armed Forces units, but they are failing. At the moment, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are engaged in active defense, and the Ukrainian infantry is moving to assault operations whenever possible to retake more strongholds. The task of the UAV operators is to destroy everything that moves towards Ukraine's infantry. With the help of drones, the guys destroy Russian infantry, strongholds, logistics, mortar launchers - everything that threatens and bothers Ukrainian defenders.

The serviceman noted that the unit destroys about 25-30 pieces of Russian equipment per month. There is already a report for November, 50 pieces of equipment were damaged. Damaged means that it hasn't detonated, so it has to be sent for repair.

International assistance to Ukraine

Let's talk about weapons, but in a different dimension, in the prospects of creating new weapons for Ukraine. On December 11, Volodymyr Zelenskyy began a working visit to the United States, where he will discuss the development of cooperation between the defense industries. At least this was reported before the Ukrainian president's visit.

On December 6-7, the first Ukrainian-American arms production conference was held in Washington, DC. A number of decisions were made there, including the creation of a joint Ukrainian-American commission and the appointment of a special adviser to the Minister of Defense to help attract investment and fight corruption. It was also announced that the White House had handed over technical documentation to the Ukrainian side to begin production of some air defense projects.

However, this is all an official component, but what really happened behind the scenes, how the US actually perceives the prospect of working with Ukraine at the company level, we will learn from Pavlo Verkhniatskyi, Director and Managing Partner of COSA, member of the International Working Group on Russian Sanctions, Co-Coordinator of the Working Group on Security and Aerospace of the US-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).

Pavlo Verkhniatskyi noted that his impressions of the conference were generally positive. There are some shifts, the structuring of work between Ukraine and the United States, as well as with Ukraine's other allies on joint production of weapons and equipment, is being built. There are still some chaotic nuances, not everything is going smoothly. There is no structured strategy for what Ukraine should have domestically and what it should buy. Mostly private companies operate in this area, and there is a dialogue between them.

COSA's Director and Managing Partner noted that Ukraine's requests for certain state-of-the-art equipment are not met with readiness on the part of Ukraine's partners to provide it quickly. First of all, Ukraine needs to implement those projects that can already be put into action, including the repair and maintenance of equipment, the transfer of spare parts, and the organization of logistics for these spare parts within the country. That is, not to focus on everything at once.

Verkhniatskyi added that not everything can be commented on the Ukrainian-American conference. Intentions to implement certain projects will be announced, possibly as early as this week.

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