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Russia making an attempt to exhaust Ukraine’s air defences, Pentagon official says


A Ukrainian serviceman fires with a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannon at a place close to a entrance line within the Kharkiv area. File.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Russia’s surge in missile strikes in Ukraine is partly designed to exhaust Kyiv’s provides of air defences and at last obtain dominance of the skies above the nation, a senior Pentagon official stated on November 19.

Russia has been hammering cities throughout Ukraine with missile strikes over the previous week, in one of many heaviest waves of missile assaults since Moscow started its invasion almost 9 months in the past.

Ukraine says the strikes have crippled virtually half of Ukraine’s power system, creating a possible humanitarian catastrophe as winter units in.

Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s high coverage advisor, cautioned that Moscow additionally hoped to deplete Ukrainian air defences which have to date prevented the Russian navy from establishing dominance of the skies above Ukraine.

“They’re really trying to overwhelm and exhaust Ukrainian air defense systems,” Mr. Kahl informed reporters throughout a visit to the Middle East.

“We know what the Russian theory of victory is, and we’re committed to making sure that’s not going to work by making sure that the Ukrainians get what they need to keep their air defenses viable.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Western navy specialists broadly anticipated the Russian navy to attempt to instantly destroy Ukraine’s air power and air defences. That is a core factor of recent navy technique, permitting higher help for advancing floor forces.

Instead, Ukrainian troops with surface-to-air rockets and different air defenses have been in a position to threaten Russian plane and the skies above Ukraine stay contested to this present day.

That important, early failure has been a core factor of Russia’s troubles in Ukraine because it presses its failing invasion, at large price in lives and navy gear.

“I think one of the things that probably surprised the Russians the most is how resilient Ukraine’s air defenses have been since the beginning of this conflict,” Mr. Kahl stated.

“In large part, that’s because of the ingenuity and cleverness of the Ukrainians themselves in keeping their air defense systems viable. But it’s also because the United States and other allies and partners have provided a tremendous amount of support,” he stated.

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin centered on air defence provides for Ukraine at a digital assembly he hosted from the Pentagon. Ukraine’s allies have been offering every part from legacy Soviet-era programs to extra trendy, Western ones.

For the United States, this consists of newly U.S.-provided NASAMS air protection programs that the Pentagon says to date have had a 100% success charge in Ukraine intercepting Russian missiles.

“We’ve been transitioning the Ukrainians towards the NATO standard equipment across the board, but not the least of which includes air defence systems like the NASAM,” Mr. Kahl stated.

The United States has offered greater than 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft programs together with counter-artillery and air surveillance radars to Ukraine.

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