Why Russia hits shopping mall in Ukraine with missile?

Dozens civilians killed and wounded by old Russian Kh-22 missile in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk.

We all were shocked by bloody Kremenchuk shopping mall attack by Russian missiles on 27 of June.

Why Russians attack civilian objects? What is the military reason? Could it be mistake? Or planned terrorist attack?

First of all couple words about missile which Russia hit the shopping mall in Ukranian city Kremenchuk. Which is located in central Ukraine and far from the area of battles with Russians on Donbass – approximately 400 km.

The Kh-22 (Russian: Х-22; AS-4 ‘Kitchen’) is a large, long-range anti-ship missile developed in the Soviet Union in 1950-s. It is intended for use against aircraft carriers. Normally they should be equipped with nuclear warhead. AND it launches from the Soviet made Tupolev-22M3 strategic bomber. It has a range approximately of 1,000 km.

Design was begun in 1950-s, production – in 1962. It`s very old missile with really antique technologies. Especially if we talking about it`s problematic liquid-fuel engine and inertial guidance followed by terminal active radar homing.

Such missiles are highly inaccurate and therefore can cause severe collateral damage and casualties.

Circular error probability of this missile is about 1 km. So if you`d like to strike some target smaller than 1 km size it will be very difficult.

So why Russians use these old inaccurate ugly missiles against Ukraine?

My hypothesis:

–             Russia finally has a deficit of high-precision modern missiles such a Kalibr or Iskander and they are trying to use older stuff to show that they still capable to continue this war

–             Russia is trying to press on Ukrainian leadership and Ukrainian society to break their morale and spirit for resistance against Russian aggression

–             Russian generals who is going to get new achievements in their careers (f.e general Surovikin, commander of Russian Space and Air Force) trying to show Putin that they are much better than the older generation of generals represented by the current chief of general staff Gerasimov. So that’s why they started to use massive missile strikes with old inaccurate Soviet missiles and reported to Putin that they are very effective.

–             I think that all of 3 reasons could be combined. But as a result we have only one definition of such a tactics of Russia – it`s a military crime and state terrorism that should be immediately stop and punish.

–             Talking about how Ukraine and our allies could struggle with Russian missile terrorists? Besides diplomatic instruments we need get more Missile and Air Defence. NASAMS, Iris-T SLM, SAMP-T or Patriot we need all of these modern systems. To secure Ukrainian cities and people and to help Putin regime to continue aggressive war in Europe against NATO countries. What is pretty real now especially against Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland.

And finally – this missile is symbol of modern Russia in one ugly full metal jacket.

Mykhailo Samus

NGRN Director

After 20 years in media as well as in security and defence analysis and consultancy, Mykhailo is an experienced researcher in the sphere of international relations, national resilience and new generation warfare. Served 12 years in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, he gained his Master’s Degree in International Journalism from the Institute of Journalism, Kyiv Shevchenko National University (2007). Having started his career as a journalist at Defense Express, he became the Editor-in-Chief of the Export Control Newsletter magazine, and then the Deputy Director of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies.

He was the founder (2009) of the EU CACDS office in Prague (Czech Republic), and was responsible for the coordination of CACDS international activities, its regional sections, and projects with NATO and the EU. Mykhailo also was the member of the editorial border of the CACDS Analytical Bulletin Challenges and Risks.

Now Mykhailo is a chief and one the drivers of new international project – The New Geopolitics Research Network which is an independent and nonpartisan initiative to provide a think tank platform for researchers, academics, experts, journalists, intellectuals who aspire to shape a new facets of geopolitics.

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June 2022
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