Seventy-Three Percent Kill Rate Against Russian Cruise Missiles

According to the Institute for Study of War (ISW), Russian armed forces continue their almost non-stop attacks on civilian buildings and critical infrastructure in attempts to dampen the Ukrainian spirit to fight. For example, on November 23rd, Russians launched 70 cruise missiles and five drones at infrastructure targets.

Telegram feed from the Ukrainian Air Force.

Some in the west are growing used to hearing reports such as this every day and, because of the repetition, dismiss them as “business as usual,” I assure you they are anything but. Ukrainians continue to fear for their lives in attacks that walk a fine line between acts of warfare and terrorism. Russia is attacking soft infrastructure targets because they are unsuccessful at hitting defended military targets. This probably reflects problems with their ability to obtain intelligence on military targets and quickly turn that into targeting missions.

The good news is that Ukrainian forces are getting quite skilled at preventing enemy missiles from reaching their targets. As you can see in the post above from the Ukrainian Air Force, they shot down 51 of the 70 cruise missiles, and all five drones launched against them earlier in the week. The cruise missiles were of the Kh-101/Kh-555 kalibr type costing $13 million and $7.5 million each, respectively. This figure is from Ukrainian Pravda and has not been independently verified.

For the value of the targets, they are hitting these cruise missile attacks are not a good turn on the investment.  Russia is spending between $525 and $910 million dollars on a single stick of this size.  They not doing an equivalent amount in terms of damage on Ukrainian infrastructure.

It may be the intention of the Russians to run the Ukrainians out of surface-to-air missiles with the hope that more will be able to get through.  This is possible, we do not know the capability of Ukraine to replace expended S-300 missiles which makes up but the bulk of their anti-air/anti-missile defence system, but it is inferred by the fact that Ukraine is requesting additional systems from the West like the Hawk and Patriot missiles systems to augment their own.