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WSJ: Ukraine shoots down only 30% of Russian missiles

Ukraine’s ability to intercept Russian missiles and drones has significantly declined as Russia increased its use of ballistic and hypersonic missiles. According to WSJ analysts, it overwhelmed Ukraine’s air defenses.
s-300 missile launch ground battery
S-300 missile launched from a ground battery. Source: ArmyInform
WSJ: Ukraine shoots down only 30% of Russian missiles

Ukraine is shooting down a far smaller proportion of Russian missile attacks than it was earlier in the war, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

WSJ analyzed the daily data from the Ukrainian Air Force Command that “in the past six months, Ukraine intercepted around 46% of Russian missiles, compared with 73% in the preceding six-month period. Last month, the interception rate fell to 30% for missiles.”

The worsening performance of Ukraine’s air defenses is attributed to Russia’s increasing drone and missile attacks and firing of harder-to-hit weapons, such as ballistic missiles.

WSJ highlighted that “Kyiv is also running low on ammunition for the Western-supplied Patriot systems that have been its best defense against such attacks.”

“Over the past six months, Russia fired around 45% more drones and missiles than in the proceeding six-month period,” the report said.

As per a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, this increased volume of attacks is depleting Ukraine’s ammunition stocks, with air-defense systems sometimes unable to reload quickly enough.

The report also highlights the difficulty in intercepting certain types of missiles, stating, “In the past six months, Ukraine has shot down just 10% of the ballistic missiles Russia has fired. It hasn’t intercepted any of the S-300 and S-400 missiles fired into Ukraine so far this year.”

According to Douglas Barrie, a specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “The less of a threat Ukrainian defenses pose to Russian air power, the greater the threat to Ukrainian forces on the ground and critical infrastructure.”

The WSJ also said, citing a Ukrainian official, that the air war may come down to which side can outlast the other on missile supplies, with Ukraine dependent on its Western allies. At the same time “Russia still has its own stockpiles and is capable of producing 170 missiles every month.”

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