Putin Hits Ukraine With ‘Truly Massive’ Aerial Barrage

Russia launched hypersonic missiles, Iranian drones and nearly every other sort of projectile in its arsenal at Ukraine on Thursday, in a furious attempt to evade the country’s air defense systems.

The volley killed at least nine, wounded scores and left countless people in the dark. Out of more than 80 missiles fired, a half-dozen were Vladimir Putin’s hypersonic “Daggers,” the most the Kremlin has used in any single attack since the onset of the war.

“I don’t remember so many Kinzhals fired in one strike,” a spokesman for Ukraine’s air force remarked. “The attack was truly massive,” the same official said.

For weeks, Russia engaged in what looked like reconnaissance, as balloons, drones and fighter jets meandered around and through Ukrainian airspace, even as the skies were relatively calm.

Thursday’s strikes included a 15-missile barrage targeting infrastructure in Kharkiv and multiple hits on the capital. Although Kyiv managed to intercept most of the missiles aimed at the city, one of the Daggers made it through. Indeed, Ukraine conceded that all six of the hypersonic missiles Putin fired Thursday pierced the country’s defenses, and I’d be remiss not to note that it couldn’t be otherwise: Ukraine simply doesn’t have a way to intercept those.

Ukraine managed to down just 34 of the 81 projectiles Russia launched. That suggested Thursday’s bombardment was among the most effective and efficient campaigns launched by the Kremlin in quite some time. Half of the drones hit their targets.

Residential areas weren’t spared. Indeed, they appeared to be targeted. In Lviv, where, just a week ago, Merrick Garland decried Russian “atrocities at the largest scale in any armed conflict since the second World War,” a rocket killed five Ukrainians in their homes. In Kherson, Russia hit a public transportation hub.

Russian shelling cut power to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, forcing the facility to fall back on emergency diesel. Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the IAEA, was aghast, but also exasperated. “This is the sixth time — let me say it again sixth time — that ZNPP has lost all off-site power and has had to operate in this emergency mode,” he said Thursday. “Let me remind you: This is the largest nuclear power station in Europe. What are we doing? How can we sit here in this room this morning and allow this to happen? This cannot go on.”

But it will go on, until something even worse happens, because Putin’s nuclear deterrent, and the fact that Ukraine isn’t a NATO member, effectively gives the Kremlin carte blanche.

In addition to the hypersonic weapons and the Iranian Shahed drones, Russia used 20 Kalibrs and a dozen S-300 missiles refashioned to hit ground targets. “The enemy split it in waves, trying to distract the air defense system,” a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern military command said, calling that “typical.”

Meanwhile, the Wagner Group continued to close in on Bakhmut, at a staggering cost. Putin’s mercenaries are reportedly incurring hundreds of losses every day in what the group’s founder, Yegveny Prigozhin, has dubbed the “Bakhmut meat-grinder.”

Although the fight is arguably distracting the Ukrainian military, which had been advancing on multiple fronts, it’s also cost Prigozhin nearly all of the inmates he recruited as cannon fodder. Defectors claim most of the former convicts last just a few days if they’re lucky. Some are killed within hours.

On Thursday, in remarks to the Italian press, Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine would defend Bakhmut “until it’s impossible.” “We must fight if we can,” he said.

As a reminder: The city has virtually no strategic value for anyone, according to almost every military analyst you care to consult, irrespective of which side they favor in the broader war.

Although it’s impossible to verify the numbers, Ukrainian officials say Wagner might’ve lost more than half the 50,000 troops it commanded to desertion or death around Bakhmut. Russia claims Ukrainian casualties numbered more than 10,000 last month.

Volodymyr Zelensky called Thursday’s missile strikes “pathetic.” “This is all they’re capable of,” he said, alluding to months of Russian setbacks on the ground.


Leave a Reply to WMDCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 thoughts on “Putin Hits Ukraine With ‘Truly Massive’ Aerial Barrage

  1. I still have relatives who believe this is all NATO’s fault. Those relatives also believe a lot BS, like the Earth is 5000 years old, General Relativity is a scam, and Orban is the great hope of Democracy… Sitting here, safe for now, these times make me realize just how little I matter, and how powerless the powerless are. Playthings to the billionaire sociopaths who think they are immune from falling down the stairs and ‘accidentally’ drowning in their bathtubs much like Cicero and the ‘Good Men’. I’m reading Mary Beard’s SPQR, and again realize history only really remembers the sociopaths. Everyone else is bones and dust.

    1. Psychopaths, not sociopaths. Everyone always gets those two backwards because “sociopath” sounds like the high-functioning one. Sociopaths have no emotional or impulse control. They’re the ones who will beat you half to death in a bar for jogging their elbow and making them spill their drink. Sociopaths fill up the violent offender wards of prisons the world over.

      Psychopaths are lacking in empathy, and they make excellent lawyers, CEOs, politicians, and serial killers.

  2. Thanks for the dose of reality while wallstreet attempts to dodge the inevitable medicine for inflation. American problems < Ukrainian problems

    I wonder how long I’ll have to wait for a Putin apologist to blame these missile deaths on Biden? (1984?)

  3. It is revealing that Putin’s allies are Iran, North Korea and China. India is no one’s ally. The key is to up the pressure on Putin. Transnistria, Crimea, and Kalliningrad have to be be blockaded. Iran needs to no we will let Israel loose, and China nees a true set of bonecrushing ssanctions… we need to paint Putin into a corner, because losing to him is just as dangerous as defeating him….

NEWSROOM crewneck & prints