Russia tries to confuse and exhaust Ukraine’s air defenses with course-changing cruise missiles

17 September, 11:51 AM
Rocket (Photo:REUTERS/Gene Blevins)

Rocket (Photo:REUTERS/Gene Blevins)

The Russian military launched a combined missile and suicide drone attack on Ukraine in the early hours of Sept. 17 in an attempt to confuse and exhaust Ukraine’s air defenses, Head of the Southern Defense Forces press service Natalia Humeniuk said on Ukrainian national television on Sept. 17. 

The enemy used various drones, including reconnaissance ones, and air-launched missiles which led to “massive air alert” overnight, Humeniuk said.

An air alert sounded at 4.30 a.m. in many of the country’s eastern oblasts. In the capital Kyiv, it sounded at 4.51 a.m., with all oblasts in the north, center, south and east of the country on alert. By 5.30 a.m. the alerts had spread to the west, with sirens having sounding across the entire country.

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The Russians attempted to confuse and exhaust Ukrainian air defense with missiles flying complex routes and maneuvering extensively, Humeniuk said.

"They are trying to both exhaust and bypass the air defense system,” she said.

“The enemy has used this method of attack before, trying to find maneuvering options to be as effective as possible."

Ukrainian air defense managed to shoot down 12 of 16 incoming enemy weapons – six out of six Shahed attack drones and six out of 10 cruise missiles, or a 75% shoot-down rate.

However, an agricultural enterprise in Odesa Oblast was struck by missiles. Emergency services were sent to the scene, but there were no reports of any casualties.

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