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Russia using old Ukrainian missiles launched from formerly Ukrainian bombers against Ukraine, general says – NYT

The Kh-55 also known as RKV-500 in the Ukrainian Air Force museum in 2008. Illustrative image: Wikimedia Commons/George Chernilevsky
Russia using old Ukrainian missiles launched from formerly Ukrainian bombers against Ukraine, general says – NYT

After a Russian missile attack across Ukraine in October, Ukrainian intelligence officials found the wreckage of a Soviet-era nuclear-capable Kh-55 missile that, as it turned out later, was manufactured in a Ukrainian weapons factory, Ukraine’s deputy intelligence chief Gen. Vadym Skibitskyi said, The New York Times reported. He said that the warhead had been removed and ballast added to disguise the fact that it was not carrying a payload, an assertion now backed by the Pentagon and British military intelligence.

Ukraine’s air defense downs Russian missile with dummy nuclear warhead – Defense Express

The Kh-55 is a Soviet-era subsonic air-launched cruise missile designed in the 1970s to carry a nuclear warhead in a range of up to 2,500 km. This missile is launched exclusively from bomber aircraft.

Russia’s Dec 5 missile attack on Ukraine cost $400-500 million – Forbes Ukraine

The missile, and the bomber that most likely delivered it, was part of a cache of weaponry handed over to Russia by Ukraine in the 1990s as part of the Budapest Memorandum, an international agreement aimed at assuring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Gen. Skibitskyi told NYT.

In November, Ukrainian troops found the remnants of two more Kh-55 missiles with their warheads removed, and both part of the same tranche of weapons that Ukraine had sent to Russia under the agreement. Russia uses them as false targets in order to later launch the more modern missiles with destructive warheads against the Ukrainian air defenses that would engage the Kh-55s, Skibitskyi said.

Ukraine’s air defense shot down 85% of Russian missiles during the 4th massive attack which is the best result during the war

As part of the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine agreed to relinquish its world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal inherited from the collapsed USSR and transfer all nuclear warheads to Russia for decommissioning in return for security assurances:

“All ballistic missiles, Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers were also handed over,” said General Skibitsky. “Now, they are using Kh-55 missiles against us with these bombers. It would be better if we handed them over to the USA.”

Skibitskyi says that Russia has missiles for 3-5 more waves of massive missile attacks:

“According to our calculations, they have missiles for another three to five waves of attacks,” he said. “This is if there are 80 to 90 rockets in one wave.”

Read also:

Russia fired more than 4,000 ground- and sea-based missiles at Ukraine since Feb 24 – Ukraine’s Air Force

97% of Russian missile attacks target civilian objects – Ukraine’s defense minister


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