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Ukraine’s Intel: Russia deploys 48 Iskander missile launchers on Ukraine border

Russia has increased its Iskander missile launchers the Ukrainian border and has a huge ground force of about 470,000 servicemen on the territory of Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s intelligence.
iskander missile mobile launcher
Iskander missile on the mobile launcher. Source: Wikipedia
Ukraine’s Intel: Russia deploys 48 Iskander missile launchers on Ukraine border

As of February 2024, Russia deployed 48 Iskander missile launchers along the border with Ukraine, Deputy Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR), Major General Vadym Skibytskyi, said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

The 9K720 Iskander (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone) is a Russian-made mobile short-range ballistic missile system. Iskander missiles travel at a terminal hypersonic speed of 2100–2600 m/s (Mach 6–7), can reach an altitude of 50 km, and can hit targets within an operational range of up to 500 km.

“There were 46 [Iskanders – ed.], now there are 48 [close to the Russo-Ukrainian border – ed.]. Two launchers were added, and they made an additional tactical group, which is used to launch ballistic missiles from the territory of Russia,” Vadym Skibytskyi said.

Furthermore, the ground force of the Russian troops located on the territory of Ukraine now amounts to about 470,000 servicemen, Vadym Skibytskyi said. Russia has also reinforced the grouping of troops covering the state border in Belgorod, Kursk, and Bryansk regions (western Russia), according to Vadym Skibytskyi.

“If we talk about what has changed over this time, it is the size of the group deployed on our territory. Currently, the land part of the grouping located on the territory of Ukraine is about 470 thousand servicemen. And this is only the land component; we do not include aviation, we do not include the navy, which is also involved in operations against Ukraine and conducts missile strikes,” Skibytskyi said.

In addition, a new component has emerged that was only partially present at the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine (represented by battalions), namely the grouping of troops of the National Guard of Russia, Rosgvardiya.

Rosgvardiya is the internal military force of Russia, comprising an independent agency that reports directly to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, under his powers as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Security Council.

“Today, a grouping of Rosgvardiya troops has been deployed in the occupied territories of Ukraine. This is almost 33,000 servicemen. These are the people who ensure the activities of the occupation authorities, the protection of strategic facilities and, if necessary, can perform defense tasks in the temporarily occupied territories,” Vadym Skibytskyi said.

According to Skibytskyi, another change that has taken place over the past two years is the addition of a group of so-called Russian border guards, which are deployed in three western regions of Russia that directly border Ukraine (Belgorod, Kursk, and Bryansk regions).

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