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Russian shelling of Ukraine has become more deadly than ever

Russian shelling of Ukraine has become more deadly than ever Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Ukraine's success rate in intercepting Russian missiles has noticeably declined compared to the initial phases of the war, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The diminishing effectiveness of Ukraine's air defense is attributed to intensified attacks from Russian drones and missiles, along with ballistic missile strikes. Additionally, Kyiv is running low on ammunition for the Patriot system supplied by the West, which was previously touted as a robust defense against such assaults.

According to an analysis of daily data by Ukraine's military command, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, over the past six months, Ukraine intercepted approximately 46% of Russian missiles, down from 73% in the preceding six months. Last month, interception rates plummeted to 30%. The interception rate of Shahed drones decreased by just one percentage point over the last six months, standing at 82%.

While data on attacks and interceptions over the past few days were incomplete, Ukraine utilizes such statistics for propagandistic purposes. Nonetheless, a representative of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and an independent defense analyst affirmed that these figures generally depict an accurate picture.

The intensified bombardments are wreaking havoc on infrastructure and cities, depleting Ukraine's already meager missile reserves necessary to fend off Russian incursions into its airspace.

According to a European military intelligence representative, the next couple of months will be pivotal in determining whether Ukrainian forces can contain Russian air superiority before new Western air defense assets arrive in Ukraine.

Data indicates that over the past six months, Russia has launched approximately 45% more drones and missiles compared to the previous six months.

A Ukrainian military spokesperson warned that intercepting a greater number of attacks could lead to depletion of ammunition reserves, while heavier salvos could overwhelm Ukrainian defenses, as air defense systems might not be able to reload quickly enough.

Over the past six months, Russia has deployed 2,628 Shahed drones. Analysts suggest that these drones are partially used to test air defense systems before missile launches.

May 12 Ukraine shelling

On May 12, Russian occupying forces shelled Kharkiv and its suburbs. Sumy came under fire as well.

According to Sumy Regional Military Administration, Russian forces launched missile strikes on the outskirts of the regional capital.

Russian forces also dropped an aerial bomb on Vovchansk. A family was trapped under the debris as a result of the attack.