Iskander hit two Odessa’s Patriot launchers, Ukraine denied

On July 7, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that missiles from the Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile complex had successfully destroyed two launchers of the American-made Patriot anti-aircraft system, which had been delivered to Ukraine.

“The crew of the Iskander operational-tactical complex targeted and struck the position of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the village of Yuzhne in the Odessa region, resulting in the destruction of two Patriot air defense launchers and the Giraffe radar station,” stated the Ministry.  

The Russian Ministry of Defense also released footage showing the destruction of the Patriot air defense systems in the Odessa region.

Iskander hit two Odessa's Patriot launchers, Ukraine denied
Video screenshot

Ukraine denied

A day before the Russian press release, on July 6, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk refuted claims made by the Russian Federation. His statement came after videos from Russian reconnaissance drones allegedly showed missile strikes on Dolgintsevo airport in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, and a Patriot air defense system base near Yuzhne in the Odesa region. 

Regarding Yuzhne in Odesa Oblast, Russian pro-military Telegram channels released footage of an Iskander strike near Yuzhne on July 6, asserting that they had destroyed two Patriot batteries and a Giraffe radar system. Oleshchuk shared the footage on his Telegram channel, mentioning that Ukrainian Air Force personnel had “successfully conducted passive defense measures.” 

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Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

“Thanks to everyone who provides quality models of aircraft and air defense systems. The enemy now has fewer Iskanders, and more models are on their way,” he stated. “Of course, both we and the enemy suffer losses in equipment and personnel. But neither side openly discusses this, for obvious reasons!” It’s essential to note that this statement was made a day before the Russian Ministry’s announcement about the destruction of the two launchers.

The video

The video’s quality leaves much to be desired. The editing is noticeable, which could suggest manipulation, yet this doesn’t automatically imply tampering. However, certain aspects need highlighting, particularly the claims about the destroyed Patriot launchers. 

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Photo credit: YouTube

The first strike clearly shows a fireball, followed by a plume of smoke. In contrast, the second launch shows only smoke with no accompanying fireball. The initial fireball prompted discussions among viewers, who argued that a simulated military target wouldn’t produce such a realistic explosion. As it stands, BulgarianMilitary.com cannot verify the claims made by Russia or Ukraine based solely on this video without additional evidence.

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’.

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Photo credit: Reddit

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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