It is highly likely that a large Russian Kh-22anti-ship missile launched from a Tu-22M3 medium bomber struck a block of flats in the city of Dnipro on Jan. 14, resulting in the deaths of at least 40 people, the UK’s Defense Intelligence wrote on Twitter on Jan. 17.
According to UK intelligence, Russia falsely implied a Ukrainian air defence missile was responsible.
The department stressed that as with the previous eight waves of strikes since Oct. 11, 2022, Russia primarily targeted the Ukrainian electricity grid.
“(The Kh-22) is notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets, as its radar guidance system is poor at differentiating targets in urban areas,” reads the report.
“While some missiles such as (the Kh-22) are unsuitable for precision strike, evidence from the Ukraine war suggests that the dysfunction of Russia’s long-range strike capability is more profound. It highly likely struggles to dynamically identify targets, and to access rapid and accurate battle damage assessment.”
The agency reiterated similar weapons had been responsible for other incidents of civilian mass-casualties, including the Kremenchuk shopping centre strike of June 27, 2022.
According to Ukraine’s Air Force Command, five Kh-22 cruise missiles were fired from five Tu-22M3 long-range Russian bombers during the Jan. 14 mass missile attack. Additional missiles were launched from Russia’s Kursk Oblast and the Sea of Azov.
One of the Kh-22 missiles, which was launched from the air over Kursk Oblast at about 3.30 p.m. on Jan. 14, hit a high-rise residential building in the city of Dnipro, completely demolishing a nine-story section of the building.
Over 40 people are known to have been killed in the strike on the building, and 79 injured, 10 of whom are in a serious condition in hospital. Another 25 residents of the building are still listed as missing.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said Ukraine has no means to intercept Kh-22 missiles. The cruise missiles, which move at supersonic speeds (up to 4.6 times the speed of sound), are 5.8 tons in weight and carry a one-tone high-explosive warhead.
They have a low accuracy, and can strike anywhere within 100 to 300 meters of their intended target.