Ukrainian air defenses helped avert month-long blackout, expert says
According to Oleksandr Kovalenko, an observer of the Information Resistance group, if all 70 Russian missiles hit the target on November 23, the blackout in Ukrainian cities could last for a month (Photo:REUTERS/Vladyslav Sodel)
If all 70 Russian cruise missiles hit their targets during the latest attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the country could have faced a month-long, near-total blackout, an analyst at the Information Resistance Group Oleksandr Kovalenko said in an interview with NV Radio on Nov. 25.
"What would have happened if all 70 missiles had hit their targets?" Kovalenko begins.
“It would have been a collapse, it would have been truly, let's say, the end of civilization not for a day, not for 48 hours, but for a week, and probably for a month.”
He noted that thanks to Western-supplied anti-air systems, Ukraine keeps increasing the effectiveness of its air defenses.
However, even the most modern air defenses – according to Kovalenko – could still get overwhelmed.
“Western anti-air systems never faced getting overwhelmed, when a large number of airborne targets are used to break through air defenses – 70-80 to 100, or more,” Kovalenko said.
“Effectively, what we have today (in terms of the scale of Russian missile strikes) and the work our air defense operators need to do – is beyond their capabilities.”
During Russia’s missile attack against Ukrainian power grid on Nov. 23, air defense forces shot down 51 out of 70 incoming Russian missiles. The attack caused a country-wide blackout across Ukraine; power supply is still gradually being restored.
Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klychko reported that the Russian troops targeted 31 missiles at Kyiv, 21 of which were intercepted.
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