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Firearm groups down large share of Russia’s drones, missiles in Ukraine’s north on 2 January

Mobile fire groups downed every second Russian suicide drone and every fifth missile in Ukraine’s north during Russia’s massive air attack on 2 January.
Ukrainian air defense
Ukrainian air defense mobile group. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff

Ukraine’s Joint Forces Commander, Lt-Gen Serhii Naiev, reported that mobile fire groups are responsible for the destruction of every second Russian suicide drone and every fifth missile in Ukraine’s north during Russia’s massive air attack against Ukraine on 2 January.

Early on 2 January Russia attacked Ukraine with 99 missiles of various types and 35 Shahed “kamikaze” drones. Ukrainian air defenders managed to shot down 72 missiles and all the drones.

Ukraine intercepts a record 10 Kinzhal missiles in massive Russian strike

Naiev reports that a total of 17 Shaheds and 48 missiles transited through northern Ukraine during the January 2 attack.

“The neutralization of 8 out of 17 (47%) of the attack drones and the destruction of 11 out of 48 (19%) of the cruise missiles in the Northern Operational Area were achieved by mobile air defense fire groups on 2 January,” Lt-Gen Naiev wrote.

Mobile fire groups have evolved into a crucial component of Ukraine’s layered air defenses. Such groups are armed with short-range anti-air missile systems, anti-aircraft artillery guns, man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, and heavy machine guns, according to Naiev.

Ukrainian mobile fire group destroying a Russian missile on 2 January 2024 in Kyiv Oblast.

In rare cases, the mobile fire groups armed solely with machine guns whose primary purpose is to destroy slow targets such as drones manage to successfully down missiles.

Zelenskyy: Russia has launched at least 500 missiles, drones at Ukraine over past five days

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