Putin issued eerie ultimatum as Ukraine shows off military might
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The news comes as Ukrainian forces make efforts to regain captured ground taken by Moscow during the early stages of the conflict. Kherson in particular is seeing a resurgent Volodymyr Zelensky push back against Russian troops, which so far has seen the focus of conflict in the latest stage of the war centre around the important town.
British Ministry of Defence (MoD) intelligence reports suggest that Putin’s men are exposed to a lack of air cover as Ukraine takes out the Kremlin’s radar systems.
In its latest analysis of the war, the MoD said: “Over 30-31 August 2022, Ukrainian Armed Forces continued offensive operations in southern Ukraine, supported by intensive long-range strikes against Russian command and logistics locations across the occupied zone.
“Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence also released video footage of Ukrainian aircraft operating high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs).
“Russia has previously claimed that it has recovered fragments of these types of weapons, which are designed to locate and destroy radars.
“Russia prioritises strong ground-based air defences – the radar coverage which enables this is a critical capability in its Ukraine operation.
“A substantial, sustained degradation of Russia’s radars with HARMs would be a major setback to Russia’s already troubled situational awareness.”
Since the start of the conflict, Russia has suffered heavy losses in both numbers of personnel and military hardware, choosing to hold back on the traditional aerial cover through its air force as its latest fighter jets were picked out and shot down by Ukrainian defences.
The lack of air cover has seen Moscow forced to use longer-range attack tactics which have resulted in inaccurate and ineffective strikes on Ukraine.
Furthermore, Russian troops have not received the air support needed to sustain an effective ground attack, with approximately 47,900 Russian soldiers now dead since the start of the so-called “special operation”.
In spite of the deployment of the HARM missile, social media reports suggest Russian defences are hitting back against the weapon.
Pictures on Twitter show what is believed to be a HARM missile shot down by Russia.
According to Will Schryver, a specialist in geopolitics and war: “Apparently the next wunderwaffe – the High-Velocity Anti-Radiation Missile System, or “HARMS”), the latest “game changer” in Ukraine, isn’t all that.
“A second one has now been shot down by Russian air defences.
“Anyone surprised by this has simply not been paying attention.”
However, suggesting this is normal, and replying to the Tweet, James Jenner said: “Given that they are specifically for firing at radar-operating systems like air defences, it’s a given that some will be shot down by air defences, in the same way, that if you throw balls at a batter some of them will get hit.”
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Elsewhere in Ukraine, the focus remains concentrated on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
The Russian-held city of Energodar, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has come under attack early this morning, according to Ukrainian officials.
The Ukrainian operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Energoatom, said in an update on its official Telegram channel: “Since five o’clock in the morning, constant mortar attacks on the city have not stopped.”
The post also mentioned “several civilian objects” have been hit in the mortar attacks, as well as civilian victims.
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Also, with the battle to regain Kherson from Russian control, a senior adviser to Mr Zelenskiy, Oleksiy Arestovych has said on Telegram: “The fact that we have not taken Kherson yet does not mean that the operation in the south has stalled or failed.
“It is carried out in a planned manner.
“We destroy enemy logistics, air defence systems, fuel and ammunition depots.”
He ended by saying: “There will be no quick wins.”
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