Espreso. Global

Russian attack on Kyiv aims at one specific energy facility. Serhiy Zgurets' column

14 December, 2023 Thursday

On December 13, at 3 a.m., Russia launched a massive ballistic missile attack on Kyiv, firing 10 missiles in total. All of them were shot down by Ukrainian air defense forces

Massive missile attack on Kyiv

Analysis of the debris suggests that on December 11, the Russians used 48N6 missiles, which were launched from the Bryansk region. 48N6 is a weapon of terror. These missiles are guided when they are used against air targets, but when they are used against ground objects, the missile loses contact with the guided radar after launch and is directed to the target area at certain coordinates. However, the attack on Kyiv was aimed at one specific energy facility.

The cogeneration center would have been severely damaged and a large part of the city would suffer a blackout if the missile hit. In my opinion, the enemy planned to conduct a hacker attack on Kyivstar before the strike. Therefore, it looks more like a complex operation against Ukrainian targets. Fortunately, all the missiles were shot down. When we talk about downing, it's not always the case that an enemy missile detonates in the air. So the craters we saw are the result of these missiles detonating on the ground.

It is also worth noting the warning system does not always have time to respond to the threat of a missile attack. This is because these types of missiles at this range have a flight time of up to 3 minutes. That is why the air defense system works first, and only then the warning system is activated. Now Russia is looking for optimal resources for terror and, accordingly, is betting on S-400 missiles.

For us, the main means of counteracting such missiles are the Patriot and SAMP-T systems, which enable automatic operation against such targets. However, there is a major problem - the number of missiles for these air defense systems - that must be solved by our partners along with the supply of Patriot and SAMP-T systems. However, in my opinion, it is necessary to change the strategy of countering Russian missile attacks. In particular, we should develop a system to detect and destroy S-400 launchers in the Bryansk region using satellite data from our partners.

Consequences of a missile attack on Kyiv on December 13 (photo: Reuters)

Ukrainian Armed Forces sniper groups in the Bakhmut direction

The commander of the Pryvydy (Ghosts) sniper platoon of the Presidential Brigade, Oleksandr "Pryvyd" (Ghost), said that in the Bakhmut sector, the enemy intensified its activities along the entire front line. The Russian troops launched massive assault operations. However, Ukrainian troops are holding back the enemy with great efforts. Oleksandr also said the weather conditions made the snipers' work more difficult. It often rains during the day and then the water freezes. These conditions greatly affect the observation equipment.

Map of hostilities in Donetsk region as of December 13

Oleksandr also described the results of his platoon. He said that according to the latest estimates, the unit killed 780 invaders. This figure does not take into account the work over the past 1.5 months. Because of the massive assaults by the Russians, snipers work around the clock. And amid weather, their work is often not recorded on video cameras. Also, due to the large number of occupants trying to storm the positions of the Defense Forces, filming is not a priority.

Ukrainian sniper's record of killing the enemy at a distance of 3,800 meters is a great achievement, Oleksandr said. He noted that there is no competition among the platoon's snipers. The team's goal is to destroy as many enemies as possible. Oleksandr also noted that some snipers can work at longer distances. The Ukrainian sniper who destroyed the invader at a distance of 3,800 meters had a very good arsenal of equipment to record the destruction of the target. The snipers of the Ghosts platoon work with thermal sights, and from a distance of more than 3 km, they do not give a clear picture. That is why it is often difficult to record the destruction of the enemy. Oleksandr said the platoon's snipers carry out most of their operations in the Bakhmut direction with an Alligator rifle. He said this rifle has proven itself very well in combat conditions. That is why 90% of the time when snipers work, they use this rifle. The platoon also tested a Snipex BV70, but due to some shortcomings, the snipers did not continue using it.

The UK and Norway plan to strengthen the Ukrainian Navy

Pavlo Lakiychuk, Head of Security Programs at the Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI, said the UK and Norway will help strengthen the Ukrainian navy. According to him, it is the UK that is most interested in introducing freedom of navigation. This is one of the cornerstones of its existence and position in international relations. That is why the UK is very strongly opposed to Russia's occupation of the Black Sea. Lakiychuk emphasized that even before the Russian Federation's full-scale invasion, the UK helped develop the Ukrainian Navy. This included the construction of missile boats. The projects were never completed. However, they did manage to hand over two minesweepers to Ukraine, the Cherkasy and Chernihiv. The ships are ready to move to Ukraine and have already formed crews. However, all routes to the Black Sea are currently blocked.

Pavlo Lakiychuk also added that the United States, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are already helping Ukraine with patrol boats and small vessels. The issue of supplying these vessels is no longer a problem, as they can be delivered aboard bulk carriers from one NATO country to another. Mostly to Romania. So now Ukraine already has British and American patrol boats in service. As for Norway, this country will help Ukraine with amphibious assets. These weapons will be able to operate in the coastal area and be used by the Marines and the Special Forces. According to Lakiychuk, such a strengthening of the Armed Forces is very important. After all, Ukraine has not only the sea coast but also the Dnipro-Bug estuary, where serious battles are taking place and where such equipment is desperately needed.

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