Ukraine says it fooled Russia into striking fake planes and air defense systems with Iskander-M ballistic missiles

Ukraine says it fooled Russia into striking fake planes and air defense systems with Iskander-M ballistic missiles
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Screenshot of Russian reconnaissance UAV footage depicting two recent Russian strikes with Iskander-Ms.
Screenshot from the footage.

  • Ukraine says Russian forces were fooled into striking dummy models of military targets. 
  • Air force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said that Russia attacked the models with Iskander-M missiles.
  • The Iskander-M is a short-range ballistic missile with a range of up to 500 km (around 310 miles).

Ukrainian forces say they duped Russia into striking dummy models of aircraft and air defense systems with Iskander-M missiles.

Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of the Ukrainian air force, posted about the savvy tactic on Telegram.

He shared footage that he claimed showed recent enemy strikes with Iskander-Ms on the mock-ups, which he said were placed at an airfield close to the city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine and the Yuzhne area, near the Black Sea port of Odesa.

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He said the footage was captured by Russian reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles.

“The Air Force personnel successfully conducted passive defense measures!” Oleshchuk wrote in the post.

“Thank you to everyone who helps with high-quality models of aircraft and air defense systems. The enemy has fewer ‘Iskanders,’ and more models will be delivered,” he added.

It would not be the first time that Ukraine has used “fake” military targets since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

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Photos and videos circulating on social media in February showed what appeared to be highly realistic decoy versions of radar and air defense systems.

Russia has also employed such tactics in the war, painting silhouettes of naval vessels on land to try to fool Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence said in an update on the conflict in March.

Business Insider contacted the Ukrainian Air Force for comment.

A Russian Iskander-M missile launcher drives past the symbol "Z" placed on a building supporting the Russian armed forces before a military parade on Victory Day in Moscow on May 9, 2023.
A Russian Iskander-M missile launcher.

The Iskander-M missile

The Iskander-M is a Russian “road-mobile short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a range of up to 500 km” (around 310 miles), according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies Missile Defense Project.

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The missile has a launch weight of up to almost 8,900 pounds, and it was first used in combat by Russian forces against Georgia in 2008, per the Missile Defense Project.

Moscow has claimed that the missile will not be rivaled by Western rivals until 2025.

“According to designers, foreign states will be able to create its counterpart no earlier than in 2025,” Russian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov said.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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