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"Russia carefully plans ballistic missile launches": Air Force explains delayed warning in Kyiv

Monday, 11 December 2023, 10:35
Russia carefully plans ballistic missile launches: Air Force explains delayed warning in Kyiv
Yurii Ihnat. Photo: The Media Center Ukraine

Russian forces may have launched ballistic missiles during the night on 10-11 December from S-400 or Iskander-M ground installations, which is why an air-raid warning was issued simultaneously with the missiles being shot down in the sky, as it is more challenging to detect a launch from the ground than from an aircraft.

Source: Yurii Ihnat, Spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, during the national joint 24/7 newscast

Details: Ihnat reported that all missiles had been shot down overnight in the capital and in Kyiv Oblast, though it is still unclear what kind of missiles were downed.


Specialists from special units that record Russia's crimes claim that it is difficult to determine the type of a missile when they are destroyed in midair because they burst and fly into tiny pieces that burn. The engines in those missiles then make identification simpler.

Quote: "Therefore, we must wait until specialists on the ground – first of all, units from the National Police – are able to identify the targets, which missiles they were: whether they are Iskander-M ballistic missiles or S-400 anti-aircraft guided missiles that also attack along a ballistic trajectory."

Details: Regarding a journalist's observation that the capital was under an air-raid warning after the explosions, and that missile launches from ground installations are thought to be harder to track than those from aircraft, Ihnat retorted: "This is a question of intelligence – how quickly we can obtain this information."

The Air Force spokesman said it was not the first time a warning had been issued when explosions had already been heard. This time the air defence system worked perfectly and destroyed all targets.

Quote: "The enemy carefully plans its operations to launch ballistic missiles. You see it in the south and east constantly. They launch from Crimea, from the Dzhankoy area, from the occupied territories – the distance is very short, the missile speed is high, sometimes the missile is flying for less than a minute before it hits [the target].

That is why, when there is information about the movement of such installations somewhere in Bryansk Oblast, say, or Kursk, then the threat will be preemptively reported... But sometimes the enemy does it more effectively, covertly – and there is no such information. Information not only from our intelligence, but also from partners. This is the case with ballistic missiles."


  • An air-raid warning was issued in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast at 04:15 on 11 December, preceded by explosions in the Ukrainian capital. As it turned out, anti-aircraft defence assets and personnel were already responding.
  • Air defence forces destroyed eight Russian missiles that were flying towards Kyiv along a ballistic trajectory.
  • Parts of the wreckage from downed Russian missiles have fallen in Darnytskyi district of Kyiv, in particular the Bortnychi residential area. At one address, missile wreckage fell on open territory, at another – the blast wave damaged the windows of a private residential building, at another address, the fence was damaged and windows were shattered, and 4 people were injured.

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