On Sunday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that it had struck at weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries and destroyed a runway at a military airfield near the Black Sea Port city of Odesa. They used high-precision Bastion missiles to strike the airfield after Ukraine accused Russia of knocking out a newly-constructed runway at the main airport of Odesa.
Ukrainian President Zelensky announced in a late-night address:
“The Odesa airport runway was destroyed. We will, of course, rebuild it. But Odesa will never forget Russia’s behaviour towards it.”
An Unfunny Stooge
Odesa regional governor Maksym Marchenko said Russia had used a Bastion missile launched from Crimea. “Thank God no one was hurt. Anti-sabotage measures are being carried out in the region,” he said in a video posted online.
Interestingly enough, the NATO designation for these missiles is the SS-C-5 Stooge. So when you read of a Russian Bastion missile having a “P” designator, that means it was launched from a mobile carrier.
These systems were first delivered to the Russian military in 2010 for use in the Black Sea Region. Odesa, of course, is a port city located on the Black Sea. The Russians have also exported these coastal defense systems to both Syria and Vietnam. Yes, Russia is still supplying Vietnam with arms.
The primary role of the Bastion and the Bastion-P is to engage surface ships. It can also engage carrier battle groups, convoys, or landing craft. In more unusual cases, as it was used in Odesa, it can be used to destroy surface targets.
Just Opened Last July
Odesa mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov said it had taken ten years to design and build the new runway, which was formally opened last July. “Thanks to the new runway, we were expecting a colossal influx of tourists from all over the world. Instead, we got a rocket strike,” he said on Facebook.
The mayor continued:
“But Odesa is not a city which surrenders to difficulties. We will absolutely restore the runway after our victory and even more tourists will come to us.”
Fog of War
Just in case you haven’t kept up with your daily reading of TASS (the official Russian governmental news agency), don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.
Here is the Russian angle on the attack as published in TASS:
The Russian Armed Forces destroyed a hangar with weapons and ammunition delivered from the United States and European countries to the Odessa region using Oniks missiles and destroyed the runway of a military airfield, Konashenkov added. “High-precision Onyx missiles destroyed a hangar with weapons and ammunition received from the United States and European countries at a military airfield in the Odessa region and also destroyed the runway,” he said.
The “he” referred to here is Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov.
Yes, Russia says they used an Onyx missile, and Ukraine says it was a Bastion. The confusion is all part of the fog of war.