Russia stockpiles missiles in Crimea for winter offensive

Russian TOS-1A Solntsepyok ("Scorching sunlight") heavy flame throwing launcher fires during the Army-2015 show at a shooting range in Alabino, outside of Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Ukraine is expecting Russia to ramp up its air strikes against the country this winter with intelligence suggesting that Moscow has stockpiled 800 missiles in Crimea to hit Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

Last winter, Russia targeted Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure with missiles, cutting off electricity and heat to millions of Ukrainians, and it appears set to adopt the same tactic a year on.

“We know that the enemy has a strong center of military resources deployed in the Crimean Peninsula,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Military Command, told The Kyiv Post.

“Kalibr-type missiles are concentrated there, and Onyx-type missiles are also launched from the Crimean Peninsula. The enemy is building up potential, this is obvious,” she added.

The “Kalibr” family of missiles, NATO code SS-N-30A, includes anti-ship, anti-submarine, and ground attack models that can be launched from ships, submarines, and aircraft.

Kalibr missiles have a range of 1,600 to 2,400 kilometers and can carry out precision strikes using satellite navigation. They can carry a conventional high-explosive warhead of nearly 1,000 kilograms.

“We are talking about the availability of more than 800 missiles in total to be used by the enemy for the energy terror stage,” Humeniuk said.

Ukraine’s energy ministry has previously warned that Russia aims to undermine Ukraine’s energy facilities by launching significant strikes.

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