Kyiv confirms Russia is firing unarmed missiles. Reason: To distract Ukraine

Published on Dec 02, 2022 11:36 AM IST

Russia-Ukraine War: The missile fragments were found in the western regions of Lviv and Khmel and have been identified as parts of Kh-55 missile.

Russia-Ukraine War: People walk on a sidewalk illuminated by automobile headlights during power outages in Kyiv.(Reuters)
Russia-Ukraine War: People walk on a sidewalk illuminated by automobile headlights during power outages in Kyiv.(Reuters)

The Ukrainian military has confirmed it found fragments of nuclear-capable missiles with dud warheads which had been fired by Russia. Mykola Danyliuk, a representative of the Ukrainian armed forces' research unit, said that their apparent purpose was to distract Ukraine's air defences.

The missile fragments were found in the western regions of Lviv and Khmel and have been identified as parts of Kh-55 missiles, designed in the 1970s primarily to carry nuclear warheads and be launched from bomber aircraft, Ukraine's military said.

A test on the fragments did not find abnormal levels of radioactivity, suggesting there was no contact with nuclear warheads, Mykola Danyliuk informed adding that they could still cause damage on impact due to their kinetic energy and fuel.

Read more: Watch: Joe Biden's awkward 42-second handshake with France's Macron

Mykola Danyliuk's comments confirm military intelligence from the US and UK.

The British ministry of defence previously said Russia was "likely" removing nuclear warheads from cruise missiles and firing the unarmed munitions at Ukraine. A senior US military official backed this up, saying it was being done to deplete Ukraine's air defence stocks, Sky News reported.

Meanwhile, Kyiv said that as many as 13,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since Russia's invasion in February.

"We have official estimates from the General Staff... And they range from 10,000 ... to 13,000 dead," Mykhailo Podolyak said.

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