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Russian Kinzhals aimed for Storm Shadow carriers in a massive missile attack on Ukraine

A combined Russian cruise and ballistic missile attack targeted the military airfield in Starokostiantyniv, hosting Su-24M tactical bombers that launch UK-donated Storm Shadow missiles. It is yet unclear if all were shot down.
Screenshot from a propaganda story filmed in 2020 at the training of the Russian missile forces, a training map was recorded. It was Starokostiantyniv.
Russian Kinzhals aimed for Storm Shadow carriers in a massive missile attack on Ukraine

On 26 July, Russia launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine, with most of the missiles, including four of Russia’s touted aerballistic Kinzhals, sent into the direction airfield with jets that can fire UK-donated long-range Storm Shadow missiles.

Ukraine’s air defense destroyed 36 air targets, Commander of Ukraine’s Air Forces Mykola Oleshchuk reported; it is so far unclear whether any of them hit the Starokostiantyniv airfield, which hosted Su-24M tactical bombers, which are carriers of UK-made Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

A spokesman of the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Yuriy Ihnat, said that Russian cruise missile changed course many times: after being launched from the Caspian Sea, they first went to Kharkiv Oblast, then to Dnipro, then to Kirivohrad, then to the south, then to west Ukraine, then they turned around 180 degrees, aiming for their the final target: a military airfiled near the town of Starokostiantyniv, Khmelnytskyi Oblast.

The cruise missiles were launched at about 5 pm from 36 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles from eight Tu-95MS strategic bombers from the direction of the Caspian Sea. Ukraine managed to destroy 33 of them, according to the Air Force.

The attack was followed up at about 7 pm, when Russia launched four Kh-47 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles, which it promoted as “unstoppable” until they were shot down by US-made Patriot air defense systems this May, in the direction of the same airfield.

As a result of the missile attack, the debris fell on the territory of a private house in the Starokostiantyniv. No one was injured, and a car was damaged by falling missile wreckage, Khmelnytskyi Military Administration head Serhiy Tiurin said.

He thanked Ukraine’s air defense for “fending off the attack.”

Tiurin’s words suggest that the Kinzhals did not reach their goal.

Reportedly, Russia’s rocket troops had prepared for the attack on Starokostiantyniv airfield back in 2020. Old footage by the Russian TV channel NTV appears to show a map of the airfield in a report on a training attack of the missile operators.

At around 1 pm, Ukrainian forces shot down three Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea over Vinnytsia Oblast in Central Ukraine, the Air Forces reported.

Ukraine’s Air Forces also shot down a Russian missile over Dnipro Oblast. The falling debris caused a fire. No one was injured, Chairman of the Dnipropetrovs’k Regional Council Mykola Lukashuk reported.

Russia has repeatedly targeted game-changing western military equipment in Ukraine, first sending its ballistic Kinzhal missiles into the powerful Patriot air defense systems, which finally gave Ukraine the capability to shoot down these deadly weapons.

The Storm Shadow missiles, donated by the UK in May 2023, finally gave Ukraine the capability to strike targets at 250 km, thought to be a game-changer in its fight against Russia.

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