by Alessandro Pompei –
The major attacks on Ukraine’s military infrastructure over the past two nights raise questions about the possible start of an escalation of the conflict. The repetition of such attacks even in broad daylight in Kiev indicates that they may be part of a growing trend. Despite the scarce information, it is clear that the targets are military installations, whose location and damages are being kept under wraps.
An attack on a military airfield in the Khmelnytsky region was recently confirmed, causing severe damage including the destruction of five planes that failed to take off before the attack. Starokonstantinov airfield, where the 7th Tactical Aviation Brigade is stationed, equipped with Su-24M and Su-24MR aircraft modified to use Storm Shadow missiles, appears to have been the main target.
The controversy arose over tweets from the Ukrainian defense minister thanking Britain for the supply of Storm Shadow missiles, but Russian commands are unlikely to pick targets based on individual social media posts. In addition, attacks have also been recorded on the port of Odessa and other targets, especially in the western regions, where NATO equipment awaiting distribution is concentrated.
The nature of the targets in Kiev remains uncertain, but explosions have been reported in the area of the airport and the sky above the Ukrainian capital has been streaked with anti-aircraft fire trails, particularly from Patriot missiles. Images have been released of the remains of Patriot missiles strewn across the streets. In addition to the targeted attack on designated targets, the ongoing attacks also aim to reduce stocks of anti-aircraft missiles in view of possible future incursions.
According to some open-source intelligence sources, during the May attacks, the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses used a significant percentage (40%) of the total production of PAC-3 missiles, which are used in the Patriot system. However, a more conservative estimate made by analysts places this percentage at around 20% of the total PAC missiles delivered to the US military since 2015, without considering the missiles in use by Germany. This financial imbalance is evident when one considers that the cost of a PAC-3 missile is approximately $5 million, while a Russian drone costs approximately $25,000 and a Kalibr cruise missile is around $700,000.
The situation of ongoing attacks on Ukrainian military infrastructure and the growing pressure on anti-aircraft defenses raise serious concerns about the escalation of the conflict. It is essential that the international community, especially the western one increasingly involved in the conflict, pay attention to this situation and adopt concrete measures to de-escalate tensions, tensions which with the arrival of Russian ballistic missiles in Belarus seem to be taking a decidedly ugly turn , and not least to prevent further loss of life and destruction.
It is therefore essential to find a diplomatic solution that will lead to lasting peace and stability in the region, stability that will never arrive if in the long run there is a fetishistic obsession with getting NATO to the borders with the Russian Federation and if in the short period, the escalation continues to be insisted on, sending more and more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine to fuel a war that is emptying NATO warehouses.
It should be remembered that, unlike what is claimed by those who hang on to the pen of Zelensky’s or Biden’s propaganda office, this war cannot be won by Ukraine and in case NATO directly gets involved as in the dreams of some young Italians political militants, we would see no victories but only radioactive ashes.