Kiev accuses Russia of using balloons to exhaust air defenses
Russia is reportedly employing balloons with angled reflectors of radio waves to trigger the Ukrainian air defense system in an effort to exhaust it.
According to the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Russia is reportedly employing balloons with angled reflectors of radio waves to trigger the Ukrainian air defense system in an effort to exhaust it.
"These old-fashioned methods that the enemy is using now are neither a probe nor an aircraft, it is just a balloon that carries a piece of metal … They use it as decoys. They need to exhaust our air defense, both in the ammunition load, and distract the attention. In addition, these balloons could conceal the use of drones," Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesperson Yuriy Ignat told Ukrainian broadcaster Kiev.
The spokesperson claimed that the Russian balloon decoy strategy isn't successful. She stated that the fired missiles which residents witnessed were most likely directed at real targets which the balloons were supposed to cover.
Downed balloon with reflectors shot down over Ukraine. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat:— Koba (@Roberto05246129) February 15, 2023
Balloons with radar corner reflectors seen over the Kyiv region were launched by Russia as decoys to deplete and distract Ukrainian air defence. pic.twitter.com/26FnYlmvv2
These decoy balloons were discovered for the first time on Tuesday over the Dnipro region by the Ukrainian Air Force Command. Earlier in the day, a balloon was discovered in the vicinity of Kiev, according to reports in Ukrainian media.
Earlier this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reported that Ukraine's ammunition consumption rate now surpasses NATO nations' capabilities to provide it, and the waiting period for large-caliber ammunition has more than quadrupled increasing from 12 to 28 months. Subsequently, after the NATO member-states defense ministers' meeting, NATO MoDs elected to cooperate closely with the military industry to boost production.
Read more: NATO decisions following the defense ministers plenary meeting