Air Weapons: Over 10,000 Russian Missiles and Bombs Hit Ukraine


May 1, 2024: Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began there has been a major Russian effort to destroy the Ukrainian economy. That effort involved about a thousand ballistic missiles, 2,800 armed UAVs (Unmanned aerial Vehicles) and some 7,000 GPS guided bombs. Only about three percent of this firepower was used against military targets, the rest were directed at the Ukrainian economy. The Russians were seeking to destroy all major sources of electrical power and by doing so black out the country and disable war supply and sewage removal systems. Russia is going in this direction because they have been unable to defeat the Ukrainian military. Ukrainian resourcefulness has disrupted and often disabled Russian efforts to win militarily. For example, Ukraine developed a series of remotely controlled and difficult to detect USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) that were used to destroy a third of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and forced the surviving warships to take refuge a thousand kilometers from the Crimean Peninsula where the fleet had been based for centuries.

The USVs were difficult to detect, especially at night and were even able to get into well protected harbors used by the Russian warships. This campaign eliminated threats to the sea lane along the west coast of the Black Sea for commercially shipping carrying Ukrainian agricultural exports of distant markets around the world. Incoming shipping brought needed goods to Ukrainians in general.

Russia followed the Ukrainian example and adopted the use of UAVs for reconnaissance, surveillance and attacks on any targets detected. The UAVs were cheap, abundant, and persistent. That worked both ways, especially on land where soldiers could be tracked down and killed by UAVs. Troops on both sides had to beware of attacks by UAVs. In some cases, Russian troops were attacked by Russian UAVs who identified Russian troops as Ukrainians. These friendly fire incidents were more common for Russian troops because the Ukrainian developed more effective techniques to monitor where their troops were.

There were morale and attitude issues at work as well. The Russians were the invaders and while that didn’t bother Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his generals, the invasion was less popular with Russian troops, who were suffering heavy casualties, as in nearly half a million killed, missing and/or disabled so far. The Ukrainians were more frequently defending and had developed tactics and techniques that increased the casualties among the less experienced Russian attackers. The morale among Ukrainian troops was much higher than their Russian counterparts. Ukrainians were defending their country while the Russian invaders were dismayed that they were operating as invaders facing Ukrainians defending their country.

Because of those morale problems the Russian depended more on bombardment using the 10,000 missiles, UAVs, and guided bombs. Using most of these weapons against civilian infrastructure led to accusations of committing war crimes. Russia denies any misbehavior, but the fact that over 90 percent of their long range weapons are used against towns, cities and ports has led to accusations of war crimes. Russia denies it is committing war crimes, but their normal military operations are considered war crimes by the Ukrainians and their NATO allies. Russian propaganda has not been able to do much about changing international attitudes about who does what to who in Ukraine.




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