Russia hopes to wear down Ukraine with mass strikes: Analysts


Such battles of attrition highlight that Russia has ramped up arms production while Western powers are still struggling to supply the volumes of anti-aircraft missiles needed by Ukraine.

Such interceptors are far more complex and expensive to build than the fleets of simple drones from off-the-shelf parts often deployed by Russia.

“Recent strikes likely primarily targeted Ukraine’s defence industry”, Britain’s defence ministry wrote on X on Wednesday, as Kyiv bids to stoke domestic production given the supply woes from abroad.

The Russians “are now trying to attack the military-industrial complex, businesses, not energy facilities but those related to weapons production”, said military analyst Mykola Bielieskov of Ukraine’s National Institute for Strategic Studies.

“We have started producing more weapons than before” domestically, agreed Sergiy Zgurets, director of Ukrainian research centre Defence Express, highlighting especially ammunition, drones, armoured vehicles and navigation systems.

“The Russians are attacking both to penetrate Ukraine’s anti-air defences, but also to wear it out, with drones that are very easy to manufacture and old missiles,” said Stephane Audrand, a French consultant on international risks.

The aim is for “their best missiles to have the least difficulty possible” in reaching their targets, Audrand added, highlighting “more complex sequencing and mixing of projectiles” than last winter.

The commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces Valery Zaluzhny wrote on Telegram that the Russians first fired drones, then 10 hypersonic Kinzhal missiles dubbed “invincible” by the Kremlin, as well as modern and older models of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

Strikes have hit across Ukrainian territory, not just at the largely static front lines with Russian forces.

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