MIM-104 Patriot system has been moved from Kyiv’s airport Zhuliany

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Insights from satellite imagery on November 7 and 25 have indicated a shift in the positioning of the MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile system from Zhuliany Airport [Sikorsky International Airport Kyiv]. 

Photo credit: Telegram

This discovery carries significance as on the exact same day, November 25, the Russian military launched an assault employing kamikaze drones [Shahed-136/Geran-2] specifically targeting the airport’s vicinity. Despite the onslaught, the airfield remained largely undamaged, as seen from the November 25 snapshot. However, it’s noteworthy to mention that the Patriot air defense system launchers were no longer at their previous location.

Analysts from both Ukraine and Russia are in consensus that the air defense systems were not hit by the drones. Yet, there is no agreed-upon timeline as to when the Patriot launcher system was relocated – was it shortly after the early morning attack on November 25 or well before the assault was initiated?

Photo credit: Telegram

75 Shahed-136 drones

The November 25 kamikaze-drone strike represents the most significant such attack since the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in February. As per reports from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the Russian military maneuvered around 75 drones in this particular operation. 

Specialists from Ukraine have indicated that the focal point of the assault was none other than Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv. Tracing back data from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, it was found that a substantial majority, around 66 of the total 75 drones, operated around the skyline of Kyiv or its nearby surroundings. 

Photo credit: Telegram

However, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry stands firm on the claim that local air defenses were successful in intercepting and neutralizing 74 out of those 75 drones. A more detailed account from Kyiv reveals that Russians have upgraded their drone technology. Yuri Ignat comments that the drones, decked out in carbon fiber and black paint, have been modified to decrease their detectability.

New MIM-104 Patriot in Ukraine

Germany is expected to supply another MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine. The specifics regarding the delivery date, however, remain uncertain, with the timeframe described as “by the end of winter”. As such, Ukraine may anticipate the system’s arrival either by late 2023 or by the time March concludes. 

Photo credit: ABC News and Telegram

The anti-aircraft system is part of the German military force, the Bundeswehr. This isn’t fresh news, as a promise to supply the system was made by the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz. However, the timeframe for this delivery was previously undisclosed.

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’

Photo credit: Australian DoD

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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