On the eve of the Orthodox New Year, a Russian missile had demolished a residential building in Dnipro, Ukraine. A news bulletin by Spiegel placed the death toll at 40. Another 40 Ukrainians who were residing in the building have gone missing, placing the death toll at 80.

According to analysis by military veterans, a Russian Tu-22 bomber had fired a Kh-22 anti-ship missile at the panel prefabricated building in Dnipro, leaving little doubt as to the missile’s destructive capabilities.

According to Oleksiy Arestovych, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, the missile that destroyed the residential building was intercepted and shot down by the Ukrainian Air Defense.

“It (the missile) was destroyed. It appears to have landed on the apartment complex. However, it exploded as it fell.”

This statement is likely to be aimed at Ukrainian since if when a missile is intercepted and shot down in the air, the interceptor detonates its charge close to the attacking missile, resulting in debris, from both the missile and the interceptor, to be found at the site of the damage. This was not the case in this attack. Another missile does not deviate a missile from its course.

Lieutenant General Mykola Oleschuk, commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, has confirmed the previous analysis.

“The armed forces (of Ukraine) do not yet have the means to shoot the X-22 out of the sky. Only Western anti-aircraft systems such as Patriot PAC-3 or SAMP/T, which may be provided in the future, could do this“, said General Oleschuk.

Oleschuk issued this clarification after Oleksii Aristovych speculated in a TV program on the downing of the Kh-22.

Incidentally, the Russian Kh-22 missile has a top speed of Mach 4 and is equipped with a 1,000-kilogram warhead. A hexogen high explosive charge or a thermonuclear weapon charge can also be used as its warhead.

Since the missile was not known to have carried a turbo-nuclear warhead, it is very likely that a 1,000 kilogrammes of hexogen high explosive may have caused the destruction of the building.

Following the attack, there is now a 10-meter mountain of rubble where earlier there stood a prefabricated residential panel building. Initial estimates show that the building housed 72 apartments.

Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov termed the rocket attack on the residential building as legitimate military target since it housed foreign troops.

Gerasimov’s view underscores that Moscow is likely to continue to attack eliminate residential targets if they house foreign soldiers.