Espreso. Global

New details on missile attack on Okhmatdyt and other objects in Ukraine. Serhiy Zgurets' column

10 July, 2024 Wednesday

Russian forces are upgrading their Kh-101, Iskander, and Kalibr missiles with decoys to complicate interception


Russian missile attack on Kyiv

Following Monday's missile strike on Okhmatdyt and other locations in Ukraine, Russia predictably resorted to lies and cynicism. They claimed that they only target military infrastructure, and the casualties at Okhmatdyt were caused by a Ukrainian NASAMS anti-aircraft missile. The notion that Russia doesn't strike civilian targets is the biggest lie imaginable.

The attack on Kyiv's children's hospital mirrors the airstrike on the Mariupol theater in March 2022. Despite large "CHILDREN" signs indicating the presence of children, Russian pilots bombed the theater intentionally. At that time, Russia lacked advanced anti-aircraft systems and bombed at close range, making it impossible to miss the signs. Since then, Russia has committed thousands of other war crimes.

Regarding the claim that it was a NASAMS missile, not a Kh-101: this is another blatant lie. The Security Service of Ukraine announced on July 9 that new evidence confirms it was indeed a Kh-101 missile. They have engine fragments, the body, and a control unit with serial numbers. Additionally, video footage shows a missile strike matching the Kh-101's shape and size, completely unrelated to the NASAMS missile. It's worth noting that the NASAMS missile, an AIM-120 air-to-air missile, self-destructs if it misses its target. Thus, it is impossible for such a missile to hit a ground target, and it is significantly smaller in size.

But the question arises: why weren't all the missiles shot down? If half of the attacking missiles miss, it's still considered a good indicator under old standards. Over the past six months, Ukraine has shot down an average of 46% of missiles. In the previous six months, this figure was about 73%. Yesterday, during the second wave of the Russian attack, 30 of the 38 missiles were shot down, according to Ukraine's Air Force Command.

Currently, Russia has changed tactics. The missiles are flying at lower altitudes, making them harder to detect and shoot down. They are upgrading the Kh-101, Iskander, and Kalibr missiles, adding decoys to make interception tougher. General Ihor Romanenko thinks the Russians managed to overload the capital's air defense system by launching a large number of missiles from different directions simultaneously, converging to strike the capital almost at once. This is known as a "star" strike in military terms. Romanenko believes the Patriot system alone isn't enough to handle all ballistic missiles.

A week before this Russian strike, Colonel Serhiy Yaremenko, commander of the 96th anti-aircraft missile brigade covering the capital, gave an interview. Yaremenko is mainly responsible for forming the capital's defense system. He said that both Ukraine and Russia are learning. When we effectively destroy their means of attack, they adapt. They try to bypass Ukraine's anti-aircraft missile defenses, take new routes, improve attack trajectories, and overload our systems. This interview was published a week before the missile strike. Each Russian strike is more complex than the last. The hardest task is predicting their actions and creating an effective defense system. This is the challenge ukraine's Air Force faces now.

There’s another assumption. It's likely that not all the Patriots currently covering the capital were used. Some might be covering other cities or performing other critical tasks. Strengthening air defense is urgent. We expect new air defense systems for Ukraine to be announced at the NATO summit. The US ambassador to NATO mentioned there would be news. But, it's unfortunate that Ukraine pays a very high price for each decision.


In Ukraine, some companies are paving the way for the Ukrainian military to effectively use both domestic and foreign weapons on the battlefield. Logics7 Ukraine is one such company, providing the Ukrainian Armed Forces with simulators to enhance military skills.

Ihor Bielov, owner of Logics7 Ukraine, stated that since the full-scale invasion began, they’ve developed over 50 fire training systems. These systems help prepare fighters quickly. As Western partners supply new weapon models, these training systems allow fighters to gain relevant skills without using live ammunition. Some weapons, like MANPADS, can't be replicated in simulators due to the difficulty of reproducing air targets. However, their training systems use accurate mathematics and ballistics to mirror real weapons. They also have full-scale models that provide not just visual training but also tactile feedback.

Bielov highlighted that many engineers, programmers, and combat instructors are working on simulators, leading to constant updates and adjustments in training systems. The company's goal remains the same: to develop all types of weapons used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, especially for infantry, to provide comprehensive fire training. This mission is crucial because it's essential to quickly and effectively train new recruits and address the gaps at the front. By year-end, about 10 new weapon modules will be developed as simulators.

He pointed out that the company is facing personnel issues, particularly with employee reservations and the reservation system itself. Some specialists are irreplaceable, even for short periods. Additionally, financial challenges arise from the procurement system, which currently makes it easier to buy drones and pickup trucks than the training systems needed to train fighters.

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