Posted by Curt on 31 May, 2023 at 9:59 am. 16 comments already!



Major things are in motion.

The night before last Russia launched a massive drone attack on all regions of Ukraine. It has been called by at least one source as the single largest drone attack of the entire SMO thus far, causing many people to speculate that Russia must now be producing Geran-2 drones at exponential rates as they have been using them at tremendous volumes of late. Every region has been hit and something very anomalous occurred in the capital city of Kiev.

A huge explosion shook homes in the region, that at least one source says registered as a magnitude 3.4 on the Richter scale, and some experts estimated to be equivalent to at least a 100 ton ammo explosion.

The above map shows the distance of the monitoring station which recorded the magnitude.

Some unnamed ‘Turkish source’ speculates the following:

According to Turkish sources, the recent “earthquake” in Kiev, which Mayor Klitschko spoke about, could be related to the following: Kiev was one of the cities with the most extensive network of underground bunkers and tunnels in the Soviet Union. It is believed that the cause of the ground shaking may be an explosion and the destruction of a large underground arsenal, and due to the carelessness of personnel.

Some believe that a new type of Russian system was used, or simply that Russia penetrated Kiev’s underground bunkers with something like a Kinzhal.

And some contend it was merely Klitschko test firing his new NATO superweapon:

Ukr regions are subjected to the MOST massive drone attack since the start of the SMO

The duration of the conflict depends on NATO activity

Ukr can join NATO even if territorially divided (media reports)

Ukr drones tried to attack targets in the Krasnodar

It’s reported the Police-SBU HQ was hit in Kiev

An urgent post from a Ukrainian channel highlights how Ukrainian AD is not able to deal with the drone swarm:

Ukr Post:

‼️ UAVs fly at extremely low altitudes (changing directions) and not all of them are fixed on the radar.

Therefore, do not ignore alarms where they are announced

And a swarm it is. Another Ukrainian post attested to the swarm-like properties:

‼️🇺🇦 The Russian army controls Shaheeds via satellite, – speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

▪️ “They flew from the south and north. Then they fly in groups, fly in different directions in batches, each drone has its own route, each UAV has GPS navigation, is controlled via satellite, so it can even fly in a circle, and in a certain time inflict blow ,” Ignat said.

▪️The Russians are trying to confuse, mislead our air defense, for this they use the terrain to disappear from radar.

Then last night Russia launched another large mixed strike of missiles and drones. Kiev gave its perfunctory bluff about 99% of the objects being intercepted, but in fact there are several videos showing large arrivals blowing what appear to be ammo and fuel depots, like this one in Zhytomyr:

Also, countless reports of Russian strikes now hitting not only AFU staging areas but railroad junctures and train stations where materiel is being offloaded for the war. These are not just speculative rumors but in fact some photos have emerged showing several of these, like this video of a Kharkov strike:

And satellite photos of a railway station strike on Dnipropetrovsk where Ukraine was offloading gear. I believe there are clearer photos out there but this screenshot with the description was more convenient:

In fact, the strikes were so large that Russia even had to utilize additional Tu-95 bombers flying in from northern bases in Murmansk, which made quite the loop:

One thing that the massive strikes on Kiev have exposed is the charade regarding the Patriot system. Ukraine claims the Patriot wasn’t destroyed by the Kinzhal missile last time, but if that’s the case and it’s “back in order” then why were the various missiles and drones able to so easily penetrate Kiev in the strikes of the last few days? Where did the magical Patriot go, which could shoot down hypersonic Kinzhals so easily, but apparently can’t take out slow moving drones? But I’ll get back to the Patriot in a moment.

Besides the huge earthquake as proof of some kind of hits, there are some videos of areas in and around Kiev being hit as well.

There was also a large hit on a “hospital” in Dnipropetrovsk which Ukrainian propagandists immediately tried to whip up a narrative of Russian hospital strikes. But unfortunately, they forgot to mention that some female ‘influencer/blogger’ blew the lid by posting on her social media about how this ‘hospital’ was in fact a staging area overflowing with AFU military:

Many are now blaming her for the destruction of the object, and there are videos of people being pulled from the rubble. But here is one sanitized clip showing just the destruction of the building:

With that said, Zelensky’s regime has implemented the strictest possible punitive measures for anyone publishing videos of arrivals so now it’s very rare for us to see the strikes, particularly in Kiev, though some still slip through once in a while. And photos were released showing several of a total 32 people which have already been arrested and/or summoned to the police after being identified as posting photos/videos of arrivals.

Kiev mayor Klitschko announced several arrivals including the destruction of a warehouse:

#Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced the destruction of a warehouse in the Goloseevsky district of the city after a series of explosions.

But he typically  blames it on ‘falling debris’ after a claimed ‘successful interception’. Unfortunately, they showed photos of one such ‘intercepted Russian missile’ and forgot to blur out the small lettering which says “CAUTION” in English on the missile parts, proving it’s a fallen or malfunctioned Western missile rather than a Russian one.

Getting back to the Patriot: we finally have definitive proof the Patriot was in fact hit on the fateful night of May 16:

Satellite images of the Zhuliany airfield showing arrivals at the position of the MIM-104 Patriot air defense system on the night of May 16.

In the May 18 image, in comparison with the May 15 image, there are distinct arrival points with a radius of several tens of meters along a concrete parking lot next to the dug out position of the air defense system, as well as directly into one of the positions, which, apparently, are the locations of the MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3 .

Recall that on the night of May 15-16, a missile attack was carried out on objects in Kiev, following which we published a video of the missile arriving at the position of Ukrainian air defense. The Russian Ministry of Defense then announced the destruction of the Patriot air defense system, while the American media reported that the air defense system was damaged, but they were allegedly able to be eliminated on the spot.

The satellite photo on the left is from May 15, the night before the attacks, showing Patriot positions in the Kiev airport. The new satellite photo on the right is from May 18, after the strikes, and shows two clear strikes. One of them is exactly pinpoint on the berm-enclosure which would have housed either a launcher or radar system. Another strike is more inconclusive, as it’s near a tarmac and could be the strike which “damaged” one of the systems with shrapnel. But judging by these photos we can confidently say at least one major component of the Patriot was fully vaporized.

☝️ Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems, which were handed over to Ukraine, have become magnets for Russian missiles. These systems are doomed to attack due to lack of mobility. Tyler Rogoway, the author of the American edition of The Drive, spoke about the Patriot vulnerability.

💬 “SAM radars produce a powerful electromagnetic signature that is easy to detect and locate. Even the most “nimble” configuration of the Patriot system is also quite static, and it takes time to move from one place to another, ” the publication writes.

👉 It is noted that “local informants” and satellite imagery can help determine the location of such a large object in almost real time.

As to the natural question of: if Russia can destroy them, why did they spare what appears to be other positions on the airfield? It’s impossible to answer for certain, it can be any number of possibilities from Russia only launching a test, feeler strike to see if it can bypass their AD, to the rest of the seeming positions on the field actually not being important Patriot components but rather something else. Maybe there was only one launcher and radar here, though that would be unlikely, but it’s impossible to know for certain. And of course, as improbable as it is, maybe the other incoming missiles were shot down. All we know is that at least one position was definitely hit and we now have the conclusive proof. And in last night’s new strikes, the same airport was said to be hit again, so the system could very well have been finished off.

And by the way, for those who haven’t kept up, and are wondering how do we know those are Patriot positions at the airport to begin with? There was an earlier sequence of satellite photos I posted which showed that the airport did not have any of those positions previously, and they were only recently built up right after Ukraine’s announcement that they received their first Patriot systems. And since Patriots are typically deployed in airports, as they’re a large enterprise system, it pretty much comes down to high probability common sense that this was where they put the system.

The positions at the airport likely represent one radar position, one command post, and something like 4-5 launchers.

Now, as of last night’s strikes, there are reports of extremely crippling damage being done to critical AFU areas. The most damaging are the reports that Russian missiles obliterated an airport in Khmelnitsky region, where the five Su-24s which were outfitted with British Storm Shadows were housed:

‼️The Russian army hit the air base of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Khmelnytsky region, 5 aircraft were hit, warehouses with bombs and fuel are on fire

▪️”At the moment, work is underway to contain fires in warehouses of fuel and lubricants and storage of combat material assets,” the regional military administration said.

▪️”Disabled 5 aircraft.

Restoration work on the runway has begun.

▪️Information about the victims is being specified.

One thing to note about my reports: for important ones, I don’t just repost random “rumors” as some might think but first attempt to get a high confidence triangulation with other info, especially the insider variety. And in this case, we do have some hints of insider info, for instance from several Ukrainian sources and channels which confirm that last night’s hit was a serious setback for the AFU.

Here’s from the Khmelnitsky administration itself:

Some of them are unverifiable rumors, like this one:

My spies from the Ukrainian command reported that 7 important military facilities were hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv, including an imported air defense installation.

👉Russian Post

While others included the Khmelnitsky governor himself reportedly acknowledging the strike:

⚡️⚔️ On the Air Base Strike in #Khmelnitsky Region ⚡️

📃 Judging by the reports of the #Khmelnitsky Gauleiter, who mentions 5 planes “damaged” at once when hitting the airfield, the real damage after night arrivals turned out to be much greater.

The enemy rarely recognizes such damage and the appearance of such messages rather indicates that there is a process of downplaying much more damage.

It was probably a question of hitting planes that launched British missiles. Probably, stocks of such missiles were destroyed at the airfield.

This even includes Defense Minister Reznikov being blamed by angry Ukrainian channels for inadvertently giving up the secret location of the Storm-Shadow-armed Su-24s when he recently posted a boasting message showing an Su-24 photo with a Storm Shadow attached under its wings. The problem is, the message contained the emblem of the 7th tactical aviation wing stationed at Starokonstantinov in the Khmelnitsky region. So, did he give away the position of the secret British base or did Russia already know its location?

The head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Reznikov was accused of guiding Russian missiles

Reznikov published a postcard with a front-line aircraft. On the Su-24MR aircraft, the British Storm Shadow cruise missile is visible, which has a characteristic head.

On the postcard is the emblem of the 7th tactical aviation brigade in Starokonstantinov (Khmelnytsky region).

As a result: a powerful arrival, minus 5 aircraft and destroyed British missiles.

It is curious that this is one of the first facts of public recognition of losses by the Ukrainian side.

Some more information:

Later, the authorities of the Khmelnitsky region reported that one of the objects was struck, as a result of which five aircraft were disabled. Their type and degree of damage is not called. We are talking about the Starokonstantinov airfield, five kilometers from the city of the same name in the Khmelnytsky region.

Surviving Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 front-line bombers are based at this facility. In September 2021, the airfield was certified according to NATO standards. Assistance in the modernization and reconstruction was provided by the United States. As part of the work, the airfield was re-equipped, navigation equipment was installed, and the runway was repaired.

Starokonstantinov was already subjected to rocket attacks in March 2022. However, in order to guarantee the destruction of the airfield, a tactical nuclear weapon is needed. It is much more efficient to destroy aircraft in parking lots, because over time they will present more and more problems. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have already proven that even old Soviet aircraft can be a serious threat if armed with modern Western missiles.

Other prominent Ukrainian figures are acknowledging that major setbacks were incurred by the new Russian strikes. For instance, Illia Ponomarenko, the loudmouth whose Nazi-apologist article I had just covered in the last report, wrote the following:

And in fact, last night there were unconfirmed reports from local residents that new objects in Kiev’s Zhuliany airport were hit:

Local residents report hitting some targets near Zhuliany airport. It is possible that Western air defense systems were again being tested. Messages about arrivals vary – from 6 to 12. We are waiting for details from the RF Ministry of Defense.

It is reported that a Western air defense installation was hit in Zhuliany.

Local residents report hitting some targets near Zhuliany airport. It is possible that Western air defense systems were again being tested. Messages about arrivals vary – from 6 to 12

Patriot did so well it didn’t even see the missiles.

This unverified ‘Turkish report’ claims another Patriot was destroyed last night:

🇹🇷Turkish Report:

Another Patriot battery was destroyed as a result of missile attacks on Kiev. 3 x Patriot batteries were sent to Ukraine, two of which were destroyed within a few weeks.

Russia detects a Patriot battery and launches standard cruise missiles with electronic and satellite reconnaissance. Then a hypersonic missile is launched towards the battery.

When the battery commander sees that the rocket is more advanced than they can destroy, he begins to randomly launch all 32 missiles of the battery, and immediately after that the battery is destroyed.

Thus, probably, today there was a loss of at least 2 billion dollars, and the previous losses amounted to 5 billion dollars.

That’s admittedly a low confidence report, and a battery of missiles is up to 8 launchers, which I doubt that many were hit—but it does seem like at least an additional one was hit last night, possibly this time by drones. This means that Russia may have finished the job and erased a few more of the Patriot launchers. And by the way, here are the U.S.’s annual production figures of the Patriot missiles:

Ukraine is said to have already fired off, in only a month or two of time, upwards of 40% of U.S.’s annual production. Think that’s sustainable?

In just two raids on Kiev (May 15 and 29), the Ukrainian air defense system fired at least 20% of the annual production of MIM-104 anti-aircraft guided missiles, and taking into account training and other less large-scale strikes, as well as losses in warehouses and during transportation, apparently about 40%.

In light of the irreparable destruction of the past few days, GUR head Budanov even uncharacteristically released a video threatening retaliation, which indirectly confirms what must have happened:

Rybar’s map of all the strikes last night is as follows:

We must be fair though and cover the fact that Ukraine too has been busy in increasing the intensity of their strikes. The AFU has vastly escalated strikes all over the front and rear lines, which is a clear signal toward the possible imminent offensive which we’ll talk about a little later. Not only have heightened artillery attacks thundered across the frontlines, but UA has apparently been liberally using their new British Storm Shadows against Russian rear objects, which could explain Russia’s decision to finally concentrate on putting an end to them.

The results are questionable: Russian MOD’s daily reports claim multiple Storm Shadows shot down each day while Ukraine claims they have hit critical objects, including a likely fake post with zero corroboration that “over 250 Russian troops” were killed in one of the arrivals.

The main Storm Shadow arrivals have occurred in Mariupol and Berdiansk. In the latter, Russian MOD in fact announced that the explosion seen was the result of sappers detonating a Storm Shadow which fell inert, presumably being jammed by EW or shot down without the warhead going off. Ukraine naturally called the explosion a ‘direct hit’ on some such Russian compound. It all comes down to who you’d rather believe, and though the Russian MOD could feasibly have incentives for not telling the truth about certain strikes of that sort, it’s Zelensky’s regime that has the history of unbridled levels of pathological lying. So of course, when faced with an uncertain scenario, I’d rather give the Russian MOD the benefit of the doubt.

However, there was one series of satellite photos showing an alleged Storm Shadow hit on some underground bunker near Berdiansk:

Russian sources contend that area was deserted long ago, and it does look abandoned in the photo, but it’s hard to tell for certain.

The other claimed strike was strangely on the Azovstal area of Mariupol. I can’t make heads or tails about why the AFU could possibly want to waste their fancy and limited British cruise missiles on hitting a defunct, condemned industrial zone with no one occupying it. The only thing I can think of was that the missile was shot down and happened to fall near the Azovstal area.

Either way, the Storm Shadow proved more dangerous than previous wunderwaffen like the JDAM simply because it can be fired without necessarily exposing the carrying platform to Russian AD. I wrote entire pieces about how the JDAM would be near useless because for it to get its vaunted max-range, the carrying aircraft would have to ascend to something like 30-40k feet, which would put it on the screens of every Russian AD in a radius of hundreds of kilometers.

But the Storm Shadow is a cruise missile with its own propulsion system, so while it could theoretically benefit from being launched at altitude—for greater range for instance—it should still be fully usable when launched even from relatively low altitudes, keeping the actual aircraft safe from AD. But this may all be moot as, after last night’s strikes, it’s uncertain how much of the Storm Shadow we’ll see again.

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x