Ukraine running out of anti-aircraft missiles – WaPo — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

kyiv’s aging air defenses grapple with intensified Russian aerial bombardment campaign

Ukraine’s air defenses have been strained by Russia’s increase in cruise missile and suicide drone attacks, according to a Washington Post report on Friday. The country now risks running out of surface-to-air missiles altogether.

Older anti-aircraft systems, inherited by the county after the collapse of the Soviet Union, remain the backbone of its air defenses. The decades-old systems are very effective against incoming Russian projectiles, Vladimir Klimin, deputy commander of a battalion working with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems in the kyiv region, told the newspaper, saying his unit had never missed a target during the conflict. Ukraine, however, simply does not have enough anti-aircraft systems to cover its entire vast territory, he said.

« There are Russians who are not stupid and who know how to think » Klimin said. “And so they try to circumvent our air defense systems using the landscape or intelligence about where we are. They try to beat us too. But if the system sees the target and locks onto it, then it will shoot it down.

Now, however, kyiv risks running out of ammunition even for the systems it has in its inventory, Denis Smazhny, the training chief of Ukraine’s anti-aircraft missile forces, who is currently learning to operate the National Advanced Surface-to- Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) overseas, warned.

« We need to replace our old systems because they simply won’t be able to keep up with these threats soon, » Smazhny told the newspaper. « And we’re running out of missiles. »

Moscow has stepped up its aerial bombardment campaign against Ukraine, targeting its critical infrastructure with cruise missiles and suicide drones. The strikes took place in the aftermath of the Crimean bridge bombing, which Russia blamed squarely on Ukraine and called a « terrorist act ». While senior Ukrainian officials initially applauded the explosion, which heavily damaged the road traffic part of the transport artery, kyiv eventually denied any involvement.

The rise in aerial bombardment has been widely condemned in the West, with several countries promising to provide the sophisticated anti-aircraft defenses kyiv has been seeking. The United States has pledged to send short- and medium-range NASAMS, while the United Kingdom has pledged to provide Ukraine with dozens of advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAMs). Germany has given the go-ahead for the delivery of its state-of-the-art IRIS-T systems, with the first unit already arriving in the country last week, with three more expected to be delivered next year.

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