The collapse of the first phase led to an intense fire campaign. The Russians used most types of weapons in their arsenal, volleys of long-range rockets, missiles, cruise missiles and aerial bombardments. Ukraine also used many of these weapons – the short and medium range multiple launch rocket systems such as BM21 Grad (122mm), BM27 Organ (220mm) and BM30 Smerch (300mm). Artillery formations included the towed D-30 and self-propelled means, including the 2S19, 2S32 152 mm howitzer and the 2S7M Malka 203 mm howitzer which could strike at the longest range of 55 km.
The barrage of rockets, artillery and missiles were devastating, especially against infrastructure and urban areas. However, due to their distinctive signature and predictable rearmament procedures, artillery formations have often fallen prey to superior intelligence and surveillance provided by the West.
This information was coupled with real-time reconnaissance obtained by amateur drone pilots who joined the military in directing counter-artillery fire and military drones such as the TB2, which could also hit the firing units. with small but deadly guided weapons. Both sides used similar means, except for the powerful TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launcher deployed with several BTGs that participated in the operation, but there is no evidence of its performance in battles.
The Russians turned to larger, longer-range weapons to overcome this vulnerability, including the Iskandar-M and -K, the sea-launched Kaliber, air-launched cruise missiles, and the hypersonic high-speed weapon. long-range Kinzhal which debuted in this war. Coastal Bastion (Onyx) and ship-based Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles were also used against targets in the coastal region. The missile attacks were largely successful, as different missiles defeated Ukrainian air defenses using various techniques. Hypersonic speed (Kinzhal), the use of decoys and terminal maneuvers (Iskander), low-altitude nap flight (Caliber), or high supersonic speed (KH39, Onyx/Yakhont) have all been used.
The Russians used everything they could shoot, indiscriminately attacking targets of military importance. They struck munitions stores or military-industrial factories, municipal and government buildings, infrastructure such as fuel, water, transport hubs and residential buildings, with the intention of spreading terror and destroying drive away the civilian population, as they have done in the past in Chechnya and Syria.
Ukraine, for its part, has also used ballistic missiles, mainly the SS-21 Tochka, which can attack targets at a distance of 70 to 120 km. These relatively old missiles achieved marginal successes, and a good number of these missiles were lost before reaching their targets for unknown reasons. (The artillery war – continued)
Other chapters of this report: