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UK Defense Ministry: Russia's Dec. 7 strike likely start of campaign against energy infrastructure

by Asami Terajima and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 10, 2023 2:58 PM 1 min read
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The coordinated Russian missile strike against Kyiv and central Ukraine on Dec. 7 was likely "the start of a more concerted campaign" aimed at degrading energy infrastructure, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its Dec. 10 report.

In its intelligence bulletin on X, the Defense Ministry said that Russian forces had likely used Tu-95 planes to fire Kh-101 air-launched cruise missiles on Dec. 7 – the first time they were used since Sept. 21.

"Russia has almost certainly been stockpiling these missiles for use in the winter campaign," the report said.

The intelligence report comes as Ukraine braces itself for yet another tough winter, in which Russia is expected to conduct an intense missile and drone campaign against critical infrastructure across the country. Last year's campaign killed dozens of civilians and led to emergency power outages.

During such strikes targeting energy infrastructure, Russia primarily used air-launched cruise missiles, particularly the Kh-101 model, the U.K. Defense Ministry said earlier.

On Dec. 7, Russian forces appear to have launched at least 16 Kh-101 missiles from the direction of the Caspian Sea, targeting Kyiv, according to the report. Most of the missiles were successfully intercepted by Ukraine's air defense, and the damage was minimal, it added.  

Most of the casualties so far have been reported in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, with regional governor Serhii Lysak saying that one person was killed and four were injured there.

Kyiv City Military Administration head Serhii Popko said that air defense had thwarted the Russian attack.

"Not a single enemy projectile reached the city. All missiles flying in the direction of Kyiv were destroyed by our air defenses on approach to the capital," Popko wrote on Telegram.

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