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Missile Strikes Hit Ukraine: Situation in Ukraine Unclear After Nighttime Exchange

HomeWARMissile Strikes Hit Ukraine: Situation in Ukraine Unclear After Nighttime Exchange

In the late night hours of February 15th, 2023, Russian forces once again launched missiles against targets across Ukraine. According to a statement from the Ukrainian Air Force, 26 total missiles of various types were tracked during this latest unprovoked attack. Thankfully, Ukrainian air defense forces successfully intercepted and destroyed 13 out of the 26 incoming missiles before they could reach key targets.

This brazen missile attack utilized multiple launch platforms and was clearly intended to inflict maximum damage through indiscriminate targeting of civilian areas. The diversity of missile types shows the desperation of Russian forces as their stockpiles of preferred modern missiles like the Kalibr have been severely depleted after nearly a year of constant bombardment against Ukrainian cities.

Cruise Missiles Dominate Latest Russian Attack

According to intercepted transmissions from Russian forces, the majority of missiles utilized in the February 15th attack were air-launched cruise missiles fired from Tu-95 bomber aircraft operating safely from within Russian airspace. In total, 12 of the older generation Kh-101, Kh-555, and Kh-55 cruise missiles were launched against locations across Ukraine. 8 of these dated cruise missiles were successfully intercepted and destroyed by the skilled Ukrainian anti-air operators.

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Ballistic missiles also made up a component of the attack, with 6 deadly accurate Iskander-M short range ballistic missiles being fired from the Voronezh region of Western Russia. One Iskander missile was intercepted over Ukraine. Additionally, Russian forces fired longer range Kalibr cruise missiles from a submarine in the Black Sea and Iskander missiles from occupied Ukrainian territory in Zaporizhia. These were both successfully intercepted.

Adaptability of Air Defenses Saves Lives

The diversity of missiles fired against purely civilian targets shows the cruel persistence of Russian forces even as their initial invasion plan lies in tatters after meeting heroic Ukrainian resistance. However, it also shows the increasing inability of Russia’s depleted stockpiles to overwhelm layered Ukrainian air defenses. The success in intercepting over 50% of incoming missiles certainly saved many innocent lives that would have otherwise been extinguished by the whims of a desperate Russian dictator half a continent away.

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The repeated adaptation and improvisation of Ukrainian anti-air batteries to meet each new challenge is a central pillar of their astonishing endurance in the face of a much larger foe. Whether facing outdated Soviet-era cruise missiles or cutting edge ballistic threats, the skilled crews protect Ukrainians under a defensive umbrella. Russia can no longer operate with impunity in Ukrainian airspace.

Attacks Pummel Civilian Areas

In an attempt to bypass air defenses surrounding key targets, many of the missiles made it through to strike civilian areas and critical infrastructure. For many Ukrainians, the night was once again punctuated by missile detonations and air raid sirens after nearly a year of intense bombardment. The attacks resulted in casualties and damage, though final tolls from the barrage are still being assessed.

The regional capital Lviv in Western Ukraine suffered strikes within city limits, resulting in over 10 missile impacts across the area. Early civil defense reports indicate at least 2 civilians were injured by the strikes. Other regions impacted include Ivan-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Poltava, and Zaporizhzhia. Missile debris and craters in public parks, playgrounds, and apartment blocks are yet again a testament to Russia’s willingness to inflict human suffering in gross violation of the laws of war.

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In analyzing Russia’s latest barrage, observers see no marked shift toward direct military targets and away from terrorizing civilians. Though depleted from a year of missile attacks, Russia keeps throwing salvos against Ukraine hoping desperate cruelty will offsets battlefield failures. Each missile destroyed over Ukraine is a small victory, but the people remain defiant and unwilling to let missiles alone erode their identity or vibrant culture. Russia’s impotent fury only resolves Ukrainian defenses against future attacks. The iron dome protecting Ukraine remains very much intact after the latest attack.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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