The 96-missile bombardment launched across Ukraine on Tuesday was Russia’s biggest aerial attack of the war so far. But it followed months of assertions by Western and Ukrainian officials that Moscow’s stockpile of missiles and other weapons was rapidly dwindling.
It doesn’t matter if the attack on According to Ukrainian commanders, infrastructure targets were long planned or used as a deadly response to Kyiv’s recapture of the city of Kherson last week, the widespread attack raises questions about how much Russia’s arsenal may be depleted and whether Moscow will endure by finding alternative sources of weapons.
The Ukrainian defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said last month That Russia had burned though nearly 70 percent of its prewar cache of the kinds of missiles that were largely used in Tuesday’s attack: Iskander, Kalibr and air-launched cruise missiles. He said at the time that Mr. Reznikov had not yet spoken out. Russia Only 609 of these missiles were left, but none of the numbers could be independently verified.
An intelligence report According to the British Defense Ministry, an attack of large scale was declared on Oct. 16. on Six days prior, the infrastructure of civilian Ukraine had been most likely degraded Russia’s long-range missile stocks, “which is likely to constrain their ability to strike the volume of targets they desire in future.”
According to Pentagon officials, Moscow has been low since spring. on Precision-guided missiles have exhausted their supply “at a pretty fast clip,” John F. Kirby was a national security spokesperson. said in May.
HowIt was then that it happened. Russia Manage to Launch Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to The United Nations described as perhaps “the widest-scale missile attack since the beginning of the war”?
Here are four possible scenarios.
Russia It is turning to U.S. officials confirm that North Korea and Iran will be developing weapons.
The Pentagon on Wednesday’s statement by Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III Russia It was difficult to Restock your missile stockpile to Keep up with the demands of the battlefield “so they’re reaching out to Iran, they’re reaching out to North Korea.”
“I do think that those countries will probably provide them some capability,” Mr. Austin spoke.
The swarms of Iranian-made drones that are attacking Ukraine — most notably, the long-range Shahed series that can carry an 88-pound warhead and crash into targets in “kamikaze” strikes — have been Russia’s newest weapon in the conflict.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down 10 Shahed drones during Tuesday’s attacks.
According to a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Forces Command, it is also likely that Iran will launch ballistic missiles. to Russia. The spokesperson Yurii Ihnat, said Moscow was not informed how many missiles Tehran might offer, but he stated that they were likely to have them. to Send it would be “fairly recently” Produced, with a range approximately 300 km to 700 kilometers.
The United States accuses North Korea of secretly shipping artillery shells and rockets. to RussiaAlthough Mr. Kirby stated this month that it was not clear if the munitions were delivered,
North Korea and Iran both denied that they were supplying Russia Since the beginning of war, weapons have been in use.
Russia There may be more missiles being built.
Last month, President Vladimir V. Putin Russia announced domestic efforts to Increase production of equipment, systems “associated with providing support for the special military operation” Ukraine
Janes, a defense intelligence company, stated Russia Most likely, you have stockpiled the microchips and other technology that is required to build precision missiles before invading Ukraine in February, possibly starting years ago, given Moscow’s deteriorating relations with the West after its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Janes analysis. on Thursday to The Sunday Review reported that such microelectronics were also used for civilian purposes. Russia These items may have been obtained by third parties (e.g., states or private entities) to If caught, you could face sanctions from the United States.
Russia According to the analysis, Iskanders, Kalibrs and cruise missiles were likely being made before the invasion.
“They are likely being produced as we speak, since the economy is on a near war footing and many plants associated with the Russian military industrial complex are working in three shifts and even on weekends,” Janes analysis.
Russia Air defense missiles are being used to Ukraine declares it will launch an attack
In a smaller follow-up strike on Thursday, Russia According to sources, the S-300 antiaircraft-guided missiles were launched against at least 10 cities located near the frontline. to Ukrainian Air Force
Built by Russia and exported across Asia and Eastern Europe — including to Iran and Syria to Crimea — the S-300 surface-toThe -air missile was originally designed to protect against air attacks in 1978. The missile is capable of hitting more recent versions. aircraft, drones and ballistic missiles.
Ukraine also has S-300s in its arsenal, as well as donations from former Soviet satellite states. to Russian air attacks can be stopped Fragments taken from an S-300 rocket launched to protect against incoming Russian missiles on Tuesday have been blamed for unintentionally killing two people in a Polish village near Ukraine’s border, said NATO, American and Polish officials.
But Russia’s increasing reliance on One signal was the S-300 being used as an attack weapon against ground targets within Ukraine. to Experts and military officials claim that the country is out of cruise missiles and other conventional offensive weapons.
Russia Possibly, there were weapons kept in reserve to fight NATO.
Few Western officials, if any have an accurate account of the current status of Russia’s arsenal or know precisely how many missiles remain in its stockpile, said Mark. F. Cancian was a former Marine and White House weapons strategy who is now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
He said that the Western militaries believed this. Russia A reserve of missiles has been kept by the United States for many years. on Hold on in case it happens to NATO war
“They apparently have a withhold for a notional NATO attack,” Mr. Cancian stated on Thursday, “which we would regard as absurd, but they regard it as a real possibility.”
“So they’re holding back some part of their inventory for that,” He said.
It isn’t known if Russia Could have been dependent on those reserves for Tuesday’s strikes.