A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force said on Tuesday that it had shot down all the drone explosions Russia launched in the New Year, in a sign of Russia’s growing ability to resist moves to neutralize its energy infrastructure. .
“Such results have never been achieved before,” spokesman Yury Inat said on Ukrainian television, referring to the nights of December 31 and January 1.
Russia on Monday launched its latest swarm of Iranian-made weapons, dubbed “flying mopeds,” at relatively slow speeds at targets in Ukraine. Thanks to anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-air missiles and military aircraft, they rarely reached their destinations. Twenty drones were shot down in Kyiv alone.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his army has started the new year by putting up stiff resistance to drone strikes from above.
“It’s only been two days since the beginning of the year, but the number of Iranian drones shot down over Ukraine has already exceeded 80.” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly speech late Monday.
In October, about a month after Russia began deploying Shahed drones, Ukraine’s defense minister said They had shot down over 70% of the drones.
As winter approaches, Ukrainian ground fighting becomes a war of attrition, with the focus shifting to air combat in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and other major cities.
Russia has launched wave after wave of drone and cruise missile attacks aimed at cutting off electricity and water supplies to civilians, at times powering out 25% of the country. Monday’s drone strike was the latest in a series of year-end attacks, Killed 3 civilians on New Year’s Eve.
Given that Ukrainian defenses cost more than Russia’s air strikes, some military experts fear the imbalance could grow over time in Russia’s favour. I’m here. In his nightly speech on Monday, Mr Zelensky said his government had information suggesting there was no end in sight to Russia’s offensive using Shahed.
“There is information that Russia is planning a protracted offensive with Shahed,” he said, according to records issued by his office. It depends on the depletion of our people, air defense and energy sector.”
But with each attack, the Ukrainian military has improved its ability to repel drones before they hit their targets, giving Ukraine what Zelensky called “a small victory over terrorists and terrorism.”
“Drones shot down, missiles shot down, powering people everyday and minimizing blackout schedules is just such a win,” he said.
One of the reasons for the success of the drone campaign may be the US decision in early November. ukraine Equipped with an advanced surface-to-air missile system known as NASAMS. This includes radars, sensors, launchers and mobile command centers.
A U.S. missile system played a role in Monday’s attack, according to the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, a Ukrainian government agency.
“Despite learning to operate them only a few weeks ago, our military used them like cannons and reloaded them as fast as possible,” the center said on Twitter. The very successful use of the weapon by our soldiers shows that it can be quickly learned.”
Mick Mulroy, a former senior Pentagon official and retired CIA officer, said the training helped the Ukrainian military become better and better at managing sophisticated weapons.
Russia, on the other hand, give up At least on the idea of winning wars in traditional land warfare in the near future.
“Their fallback only seems to be to blow the country to pieces,” he said. “You can’t win a war with airstrikes”
Victoria Kim contributed to the report.