Russia activated 16 Tu-95MS bombers and 12 MiG-31s – Ukraine

On January 2nd, 2024, it’s projected that the Russian Federation will once again unleash a vast array of its available weaponry in a long-range assault against Ukraine. Kindly bear in mind that this article is rooted in tentative data retrieved from Ukrainian Air Force transmissions concerning aerial threats, and we will update the details as verified information becomes accessible. 

F-35s 'force' MiG-31s to intercept 'threats' in the stratosphere
Photo credit: Russian MoD

The anticipated attack is slated to initiate around 10:00 pm on January 1st, predominantly featuring the deployment of Shahed-136 air-to-air missiles from Crimea and Primorsko-Akhtarsk, located in the Krasnodar region. About five hours later, a number of these projectiles are predicted to penetrate central regions, including Kyiv. Current projections account for 36 Shaheds in total, but none are expected to reach their intended target. According to the Ukrainian Air Force Command, all missiles will be neutralized. 

Simultaneously, as the last of the Shahed missiles succumb to anti-missile efforts, Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers, departing from Olenya airport in the Murmansk region, are projected to approach their target area. As per the reports, the fleet of 16 planes would be divided into two groups: one expected to strike at 6 am, while the other followed an hour later. 

Russia has lifted Tu-95 strategic missile bombers into the air
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The timeline suggests that around 7:30 am, the Russian Federation would likely employ its ballistic weaponry, leading off with a disorderly assault using the S-300/400 Kharkiv air defense system. 

By 07:39 am, it’s anticipated that a salvo of nine MiG-31K Kh-47 Kinzhal “hypersonic missiles” will be dispatched, presumably with Kyiv and potentially Kharkiv being their primary targets. Additionally, multiple launches of more Kh-47 Kinzhal missiles are expected, implying the deployment of all 12 carriers of these missiles belonging to the Russian Federation on January 2nd. 

The possible presence of Tu-22M3 missile carriers equipped with Kh-22 missiles has also been speculated by unofficial sources. At 9 am, the airspace over central Ukraine will likely see the arrival of cruise missiles, launched by the second group of Tu-95MS, heading towards Kyiv. 

Russian VKS will receive modernized Tu-22M3M long-range bombers
Photo credit: Wikipedia

There exists a possibility of the deployment of Kalibr cruise missiles originating from the Black Sea. As per the morning data from the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, up to 20 units of these missiles could potentially be unleashed in a single salvo. By 10 am, the threat in most areas is expected to be successfully neutralized, returning a sense of calm to the rumor-tossed morning.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’

Russia says it is mass-producing the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile
Photo by Alexey Kudenko

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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