Ukraine: anti -aircraft defense, kyiv’s guardian angel against Russian missile salvas

Air attacks against cities and civil infrastructure are part of the Russian army winter strategy. The mobile unit of 1129ᵉ Anti -aircraft defense regiment tracks down Aircrafts and missiles.

by Rémy Ourdan (Kiev, Special Envoy)

About an hour and a half drive from kyiv, the unit stops in the middle of the fields, on a dirt road, at the meeting point transmitted a few minutes before. Major “Kansas” and his men are moving soldiers. “The Russian army mainly targets our command posts and our radar stations. We, the mobile units, are fine, they do not have time to locate ourselves,” says Kansas. The unit of 1129 e anti -aircraft defense regiment “bila tserkva” (named after a city in the region of Kiev) is one of the guardian angels of the capital, those who track the planes every day and the Russian missiles in the Ukrainian sky.

 a member of the unit of 1129ᵉ anti-aircraft defense regiment A member of the unit of 1129ᵉ Anti -aircraft defense regiment “Bila Tserkva”, near Kiev (Ukraine), February 10, 2023. Lorenzo meloni/Magnum Photos for “Le Monde”

The Moscow army carried out a new, major air attack against cities in Ukraine on Friday, February 10. According to the staff, 71 cruise missiles, 31 soil-to-ground missiles and seven kamikazes drones targeted the territory. If 61 cruise missiles and five drones were slaughtered in flight, Zaporijia (South) and Kharkiv (northeast) were notably affected. Energy sites have been struck in six regions. Above Kiev, “10 missiles were killed,” said the mayor of the capital, Vitali Klitschko, indicating that there was still “damage to the electricity network”.

A political message

Russian air attacks against cities and civil infrastructure are part, since the wave of bombing on October 10, 2022, of the Russian army winter strategy. At the time, Moscow had just recorded two stinging defeats on the battlefield, with the reconquests of Izioum, then of Lyman, in the northeast of the country, by the Ukrainian forces. For the past four months, these salves of missiles have followed one another at regular intervals, and millions of Ukrainians have been deprived of electricity and heating. Attacks are also sometimes a political message. While the last salvo drawn against Kiev intervened after the announcement by Germany of an agreement on deliveries of tanks, the attack on Friday took place the day after a European tour of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who urged her allies to provide him with long -range missiles and combat aircraft.

In kyiv, anti -alerts resounded various times on Friday, first in the night, then again in the morning. As usual, some residents rushed to shelters, including metro stations, while others have continued to go about their occupations as if nothing had happened. At kyiv central station, only the closure for a few hours of the entrance hall betrayed a certain nervousness. Apart from that, travelers continued to wander the forecourt, and trains from Poland to arrive on time.

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/Media reports cited above.