27 June, 11:43 AM


With missiles hitting Kyiv, Russia wants to bring Belarus into war – CIT analyst

The Russian missiles that hit central Kyiv on the morning on June 26 were the Kremlin’s response to Western weapon deliveries to Ukraine, and also an attempt to engage Belarus into war, Kirill Mihaylov, an analyst at Conflict Intelligence Team, a Russian group focused on investigating war crimes, has told NV.

“This was Russian attempt to respond to deliveries of modern artillery and rocket systems to Ukraine, as they are hitting command centers, storages and all kinds of targets deep in the Russia-controlled territory quite hard,” Mihaylov said on Radio NV.

“The Russians are responding in the only possible way they can. These are attempts to conduct attacks on military targets that they’re aware of as those are marked on old Soviet maps. So far, we may conclude that this was another rather unsuccessful attempt to hit a defense manufacturing facility built yet in the Soviet times.”

He also emphasized that the Russians are still using Soviet intelligence data.

“As we well see, their intelligence is based on the maps that the Soviet military had. So we see these rockets miss their targets by 100 or 200 meters and produce explosions in residential blocks. We can’t say this isn’t terrorism. It could be that this attack was planned as an attempt to hit civil infrastructure, but the rockets that Russians used are not strong enough to conduct a terrorist-grade bombing operation. I mean – depressing the civil population and its ability to resist. Russia doesn’t have enough capacity to achieve these goals, doesn’t have enough strategic aircraft and rocket-operating units.”

Mihaylov also commented on Belarus and its involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine. He believes Russia wants a greater engagement from Belarus, so that it effectively joins the war, but for that to happen Ukraine needs to attack Belarus in the first place. Russia’s tactical goal is to provoke Ukraine into direct military action against Belarus as a sovereign state.

“Since the beginning of this war, Belarus has been providing its own territory for Russia to use a base to station launchers for missiles, like the Iskander, which are still present there,” said Mihaylov.

“Russian aircraft also use Belarussian airports for operations against Ukraine in the air. However, not so long ago Russia was using mostly Belarussian airports for striking Ukraine and now we see that (June 26) the attack on Kyiv was done from bombers based in Russia – this is confirmed by Ukrainian intelligence data and Belarussian activists. After hitting the targets, these planes went back to their Russian base.”

“I think Russia wants to provoke Ukraine to hit Belarus and engage it into the war, open another area for combat (in northern Ukraine). Besides that, I have to say that these Russian missiles are too old and are not good at hitting long-distance targets. So Russians have to admit strength of Ukraine’s air defense system and, therefore, launch missiles from a closer distance.”

Mihaylov was commenting after two Russian bombers hit targets in Kyiv at 6.20 a.m. on June 26. Several explosions did serious damage to at least one residential building in Lukyanivka district, an area close to the city’s downtown. At least one person was killed in the attack. 

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