Russian troops develop new combined terror tactics — military observer Kovalenko
On the night from January 1 to January 2, Russian troops executed another extensive combined terrorist strike on Ukraine, employing Shahed-131/136 “kamikaze” drones and various types of missile components
Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military-political analyst with the Information Resistance group, described a discernible pattern of regularity and systematic tactics emerging in these massive strikes.
Chronology of the Strike
The assault began with the deployment of Shahed-131/136 “kamikaze” drones, with the first group launched around 7:30 pm. Six groups were observed, with 4-6 heading toward Kyiv. The “kamikaze” drone raid on the capital was neutralized around 03:45 am, with a total of 35 drones engaged and destroyed.
Starting at 02:00 am, Tu-95MS strategic bomber-missile carriers took off, and by 05:00 am, the first Tu-95MS entered the Caspian region to launch Kh-101/555 missiles. A total of 70 cruise missiles were engaged, with 59 destroyed. Simultaneously, Kh-59 missiles were launched from 06:20 am to 06:30 am, targeting Kharkiv with S-300 systems.
At 07:30 am, MiG-31K interceptors took off, and between 07:40 am and 07:50 am, 10 Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were launched, all of which were destroyed. False targets simulating a ballistic flight trajectory were reported, along with the first three Kalibr launches since September 25, 2023. An air alert was sounded in Kyiv and the Kyiv region at 09:47 am.
Common Features and Tactics
Recent terrorist strikes, including those on New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve to January 1, and the current attacks, share a common feature. They all commence with Shahed-131/136 “kamikaze” drone raids, raising concerns about the systematic nature of these assaults.
“Kamikaze” drones serve not only as a means of attack but also as a tactic to open and exhaust air defenses, diverting attention through constant airspace maneuvering. The synchronization of launches, flight trajectories, and routes aims to prolong their presence in airspace, minimizing the time between the destruction of “kamikaze” drones and the entry of missiles.
The combination of different missile types in the second wave after “kamikaze” drones, including subsonic air-launched cruise missiles, ballistic Iskander-M, aeroballistic Iskander-K, hypersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, Kh-22/32, auxiliary Kh-59, anti-radar Kh-31P, and S-300, forces air defenses to apply varied interception algorithms, increasing the chances of breakthroughs.
Russia's departure from a unified nomenclature, observed in the autumn of 2022, indicates the adoption of a combined strike method, dispersing air defense by interception algorithms and creating an aggregate mass strike. The shift from using solely Kh-101/555 missiles allows for increased flexibility and probability of success in breakthroughs.
Russia meticulously planned the New Year's missile strikes well in advance, with months dedicated to accumulating ammunition, reconnaissance, nomenclature calculation, and synchronization of actions. The elaborate and systematic execution of these plans underscores the ruthless nature of the Russian occupiers.
The urgent need to strengthen Ukraine's air defense and expand counter-missile terror capabilities becomes increasingly apparent in the face of ongoing threats. Collaboration with international partners is essential for achieving these objectives.