General Milley said Ukraine's air defenses would be tapped out by June. Looks like he was right.
Leaked documents from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (first week of April) contained a shocking admission that our military brass felt Ukraine's air defenses would be nil by the end of May. Well, here were are and guess what? BAM.
To anyone who thinks Ukraine is anything more than a sitting duck, err...you're...err... delusional?
Russia Follows Barrage on Kyiv With More Drone, Missile Attacks
Moscow attacks Ukraine’s capital twice in 24 hours
By Isabel Coles, WSJ
Updated May 29, 2023 9:19 am ET
KYIV, Ukraine—Russia unleashed two waves of missiles and drones across Ukraine on Monday, in an escalating campaign to degrade the country’s air defenses and disrupt preparations for an offensive that Kyiv has signaled could be imminent.
The latest barrage came a day after Russia launched what authorities described as the largest attack using Iranian-supplied drones since the start of the war.
The commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhniy, said 11 cruise and ballistic missiles had been shot down over the Kyiv region on Monday, following an overnight attack that targeted military facilities and infrastructure across the country.
Ukrainian officials said Russia launched about 40 cruise missiles and 35 drones overnight, of which 67 were intercepted in total. In the western Khmelnytskyi region, however, a strike on a military facility damaged five aircraft, the local administration said.
Hours later, Russia fired a salvo of cruise missiles at the capital, in its 16th attack on Kyiv this month, said the head of the city’s regional military administration, Serhiy Popko.
“This attack marks a change in the enemy’s tactics,” Popko said. “Following a series of overnight attacks, this strike on the peaceful city was carried out during the day, when most of its residents would have been at work or out on the streets.”
Residents scrambled to take cover in subway stations as explosions were heard in the city center. Missile fragments were later found on roads and parks in three districts, the city administration said. In the earlier attack overnight, some 40 drones and missiles were downed over the capital, which is heavily protected by air-defense systems supplied by Ukraine’s Western allies.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the international community shouldn’t become inured to the frequent attacks: “They are all war crimes and must be stopped by further strengthening Ukraine’s air defense, including with F-16s, and defeating Russian aggression as such.”
Kyiv has been lobbying Western allies for extra weapons supplies, especially F-16 jet fighters that could go toe-to-toe with Russian planes launching bombs, missiles and rockets from Russian-held parts of eastern Ukraine. The U.S. and its European allies that fly F-16s have agreed to train Ukrainian pilots on the jets, and are discussing how to supply some to Kyiv. None are likely to arrive before the offensive begins because the Western countries must establish maintenance and support networks to keep the complex aircraft operating in Ukraine.
Russia has intensified strikes in recent weeks as it braces for a possible Ukrainian offensive aimed at retaking land occupied by Moscow since the start of its invasion in February 2022. A lavishly produced video released by Gen. Zaluzhniy over the weekend showed Ukrainian forces preparing for battle under the banner “the time has come to take back what’s ours.”
Visiting troops on the front line near the city of Lyman, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskiy, said: “The time will soon come, and we will launch active offensive actions.”
Ukraine has also been ramping up strikes deep inside Russian-occupied territory using drones and longer-range missiles to hit fuel storage and other military logistics sites. Kyiv’s reach was recently extended with Storm Shadow air-to-ground cruise missiles supplied by the U.K.
Ukrainian officials said late on Sunday that there had been strikes in and around the Russian-occupied cities of Berdyansk and Mariupol, which were previously out of range. The Berdyansk city military administration said there had been at least five strikes on Russian positions in the district.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said the Storm Shadow missiles had been deployed on a number of occasions and proved highly accurate. He didn’t specify what they had been used to target, or when.
The Iranian-supplied drones used by Moscow are inexpensive and easy to procure but costly for Ukraine to shoot down. Defense experts say depleting Ukraine’s air-defense stocks may be aimed at raising the effectiveness of future cruise-missile attacks by Russia.
Meanwhile, authorities in the Russian region of Belgorod, which neighbors Ukraine, said that four people were injured during shelling by Ukrainian forces on industrial facilities in the city of Shebekino, in a border area that has previously come under fire in the war.
Georgi Kantchev contributed to this article.