Kyiv, UKRAINE — Ukrainian officials celebrate the arrival of more advanced Western air defenses and claim growing success in shooting down Russian rockets and drones, but Moscow says Kyiv’s forces are It warns that it is looking for new long-range weapons that can be countered. In particular, ballistic missiles from Iran are almost impossible to defend against.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force said the Kremlin has plans to purchase Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from Iran in recent weeks.
“We have information that they have reached some degree of agreement on delivery,” spokesman Yury Inato told a news conference on Monday.
Iran denies plans to sell ballistic missiles to Russia. However, Ukraine’s Director General of Defense Intelligence, Major General Kirilo Budanov, said delivery of the Iranian missiles could take place by the end of November.
“Unlike Russian missiles, Iranian missiles are very accurate and very fast, and their capabilities have been proven in combat, so this is a serious threat,” he said.
Ukrainian officials declined to provide details on how many missiles Russia may be seeking to acquire. But Inat said Ukraine was discussing with its Western allies how to counter the threat.
“While it is theoretically possible to shoot it down, it is very difficult in practice to do so with the capabilities we currently have at our disposal,” he noted.
One possibility, he said, would be to destroy ballistic missiles as they are launched. You will need weapons.
The missiles Moscow is seeking to acquire from Iran are similar to the Iskandar missiles that Russia has been using since it began its invasion in February. Western military analysts and Ukrainian officials say Russia is eyeing Iran because Iskandar stocks are severely depleted.
Russia has other weapons at its disposal, including Kalibr cruise missiles and Iranian-made strike drones. Ukraine is adept at taking down portable air defense systems, attack aircraft, and a combination of Soviet-era air defense systems and emerging Western systems.
According to the Ukrainian military, the ultra-modern German IRIS-T air defense system is very new and has never been used on the battlefield before. It was very effective in shooting down missiles launched by Russia in a series of attacks at the end of October. Ukrainian officials also announced on Monday that the first two of eight advanced surface-to-air missile systems (NASAMS) pledged by the Pentagon have arrived. Each is armed with radar-guided missiles with a range of up to 30 miles.
However, these advanced systems were not designed to defend against ballistic missiles and are expensive to use against relatively inexpensive drones.
Ukrainian officials say they believe Moscow will continue to try to overwhelm its defenses with sheer volume, as on Oct. 31, when Russia launched about 55 missiles targeting critical infrastructure. . Only 10 of her aircraft are reported to have breached defenses, but caused so much damage to the energy structure that Ukraine was forced to ration power to prevent a collapse of the grid.
Royal United Services Institute, a London-based research institute, writes: report It said this week that attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure were “unlikely to change the fate of Russia’s battlefield” but “caused major problems and created new requirements for Ukrainian air defense equipment.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was “moving gradually towards the goal” of fully protecting its skies.
“As of today, we can say that the recent escalation of Russian missile and drone terrorism has only caused the world to react – with renewed aid to Ukraine,” he said Monday night. said in
Farnaz Fasihi contributed to the report.