More than fifteen months after the start of the war in Ukraine, kyiv is the very regular target this month of Russian drone attacks, sowing chaos in the capital. Strategy of terror, weakening of Ukrainian anti-aircraft defences, admission of Russian impotence… Conflict experts reveal their interpretation of this new trend.
New scene of panic in kyiv. For the sixteenth time in May, the Ukrainian capital suffered an aerial attack by Russian drones on Monday. This time, the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses were alerted during the day, an extremely rare occurrence since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
After the night bombardments, which did not cause major damage in the capital, the anti-aircraft sirens sounded again in the morning, followed by a series of explosions around 11:10 a.m. local time. Faced with the force and intensity of the explosions during the interception of the Russian missiles, many residents rushed to take refuge in underground shelters, especially in the metro.
“The enemy carried out missile strikes against Ukrainian territory, for the second time in 24 hours”, underlined the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zaluzhny, assuring that all the projectiles of this attack of the morning had been slaughtered.
According to Colonel Michel Goya, military historian, on BFMTV this Monday, the Ukrainian territory has been facing, for several days, “the biggest Russian drone attack on its citieswhile the long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive would be imminent.
Weaken the Ukrainian defense
While the winter was marked by major Russian attacks on Ukrainian electricity infrastructure, the Kremlin now seems to be targeting the Ukrainian capital and its anti-aircraft defenses, mostly delivered by Kiev’s Western allies.
For General Jerôme Pellistrandi, these increasingly intense attacks are “a real problem” because they weaken the stocks of ammunition used to destroy enemy missiles.
“All these repeated attacks, every night against Ukrainian cities, mean that the stock of anti-aircraft missiles is decreasing,” he said on BFMTV.
This thesis could explain the Russian strikes overnight from Sunday to Monday on “airfields” in Ukraine which, according to the Russian Defense Minister, “destroyed” all their targets, including “aeronautical equipment” and ” facilities for the storage of arms and ammunition”.
The Kremlin wants to concentrate Ukrainian efforts away from the front?
Still with a view to maintaining a war of attrition, these Russian drone attacks make it possible, according to certain experts, to concentrate Ukrainian efforts around its cities and thus to weaken the potential strike force on the front at ballast.
It is therefore a way of “diverting the means from the front line”, continued Colonel Michel Goya on our antenna.
An interpretation tempered by General Jerôme Pellistrandi, recalling that the American Patriot anti-aircraft missiles are poorly suited to the front and to perpetual motion.
Be that as it may, this Russian strategy aims to “postpone the start of this Ukrainian counter-offensive”, assured BFMTV Tetyana Ogarkova, Ukrainian journalist and essayist at Crisis Media Center.
She also added: “The Russians are trying to detect the places where the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense is placed.”
Based in kyiv, the journalist is suffering, like her compatriots, from the increase in attacks on the capital. “There is growing irritation. But the psychological weapon doesn’t work,” she said.
“It is difficult to understand these Russian offensives which, alas, cause victims, but will not undermine the morale of the Ukrainian population and the military potential”, commented Jerôme Pellistrandi.
This Monday, the head of the military administration of the city of kyiv, Serhii Popko, put his finger on a new Russian “tactic”. “The enemy changed tactics: after prolonged night attacks only, they struck a peaceful town during the day, when most of the inhabitants were at work and away,” he claimed.
“Apart from sow terror, I do not see what is the military objective of these strikes during the day”, was surprised Jerôme Pellistrandi with BFMTV.com.
The dangerous game of the Kremlin
The growing use of drones by Russia, often delivered at low cost by Iran, could also be an admission of powerlessness by the Kremlin, which is no longer able to use missiles with each air raid.
This is what Colonel Michel Goya explained on our antenna. For him, this type of attack means that the Russians “don’t have many missiles anymore”, and that they “are no longer able” to do with missiles “all the salvoes of strikes” that they carried out “regularly ” for many months. For “some time now”, the Russians “lack strike capabilities”, he said.
“With drones, you are not going to paralyze the electricity network”, insisted Michel Goya. “A drone is the equivalent of an artillery shell. Artillery shells, the Russians use thousands of them every day on the front line,” he argued.
Although they did not cause only one injury and light material damage, the last two salvos shocked the Ukrainians, starting with the presidential couple who were moved by videos showing children running towards a refuge in Kiev .
The head of Ukrainian defense intelligence promised him reprisals “very soon”. “Everyone who tried to scare us, dreaming that it would have an effect, will regret it very soon. Our response will be soon. Everyone will see everything soon.”
Source: BFM TV