Over Easy: Ballistic Escalation in Ukraine
A few days ago, CNN reported that the Ukrainian Army fired several short range ballistic missiles into rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, indicating a major escalation in the war. The exact location of the launch was undisclosed as was the intended target.
NATO confirmed the launch, then retracted after Kiev denied the launch. No damage has been reported from strikes of ballistic missiles in Ukraine.
Over at the Saker, Juan reports that 4 ballistic missiles were, in fact, fired toward East Ukraine and that two were aimed at the ring of territory that encircles a besieged segment of the Ukrainian Army near the Russian border called Saur Moglia. The presumed purpose of the attempted missile strikes was to open a corridor of escape for the trapped Ukrainian troops. Yesterday, more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers crossed the Russian border and became refugees after escaping encirclement.
How, then is it possible that missiles were fired but did not reach their targets? Again, from the Saker:
The 4 Tochka missiles were shot down over Novorossiya territory occupied by Ukraine Armed Forces before the missiles reached their programmed height. They were shot down from inside RF [Russian Federation] according to normally reliable sources. No visual evidence has been provided of RF shooting down the Tochka systems nor of the system used to shoot down the Tochka missiles.
However, separatists claim that parts of an unexploded ballistic missile warhead have been found in Luhansk.
To recap: Ballistic missiles were fired by the Ukrainian Army at the Novorussian forces in the east, but those missiles were intercepted by Russia. That’s a huge development if true.
Judge for yourself where the truth lies among the multiple conflicting accounts of the mysterious Ukrainian ballistic missiles. Maybe there were no launches. Maybe there were. Either way, there is likely a eventful backstory we haven’t been told that may for the first time include overt Russian military intervention. Nevertheless, there are reports that Kiev is amassing ballistic missiles in Donestk.
Off topic is welcome as always. Lurkers and newbies are encouraged to join in. See you in the comments.