Cold War Era Missiles Launched at Ukraine, But Without Warheads


    Russian forces are attacking Ukraine with nuclear missiles. They have the nuclear warheads taken away, according to British intelligence.

    “Russia is likely removing the nuclear warheads from aging nuclear cruise missiles and firing the unarmed munitions at Ukraine,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) declared in its update on Saturday on the current state of the war between Russia and Ukraine in which it cited “[o]pen images from sources showing the destruction of an apparently destroyed AS-15 KENT air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) which was designed in the 1980s primarily to be a nuclear weapon. “

    AS-15 “Kent” is the NATO reporting name for the missile that Russia calls the Kh-55 and the MoD insisting that, even with its nuclear-powered payload “an inert system will still produce some damage through the missile's kinetic energy and any unspent fuel” -however, they also said that it is “unlikely to achieve reliable effects against intended targets” in the state of disarmament.

    “Russia almost certainly hopes such missiles will function as decoys and divert Ukrainian air defenses,” the British suggested. An incidental Ukrainian Air Defence missile has been reported have hit Poland in the last few weeks and killed two civilians within the NATO nation, however “[w]hatever Russia's intent, this improvisation highlights the level of depletion in Russia's stock of long-range missiles.”

    The idea that Russia is running out missiles has been circulating for months, including Russia's Ministry of Defence stating in the middle of October that “Russia's defense industry is probably incapable of producing advanced munitions at the rate they are being expended” and that a massive attack on Ukraine at the time was a “further degradation of Russia's long-range missile stocks… likely to constrain their ability to strike the volume of targets they desire in future.”


    But, Russian forces went on to conduct their biggest strike on Ukraine up to now, a one month after, destroying the country's power grid according to Kyiv (Kiev) Mayor Vitali Klitschko, left many Ukrainians “without electricity, without heating, without water” and “freezing” as winter begins to set in.

    The New York Times, with an the analysis of Janes, offered a range of plausible reasons Russia is capable of increasing the number of its attacks at a moment when Western as well as Ukrainian officials believed they would have run out of weapons, and speculating that weapons “are likely being produced as we speak, since the [Russian] economy is on a near war footing and many plants associated with the Russian military industrial complex are working in three shifts and even on weekends” and the key components like microchips may have been stored prior to the war.


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