Explained: A look at weapons used by Russia in war against Ukraine
- Airstrikes and bombardments by the Russian military have resulted in a large number of casualties in Ukraine
- The army incorporated Iskander missiles that can strike to a range of up to 500 kilometers
- Cluster bombs are used to strike multiple targets simultaneously
Inflicting a full-blown invasion on Ukraine, Russia’s weapon munitions have left the country in shambles. Airstrikes and bombardments by the Russian military have resulted in a large number of casualties in the invaded country.
Here are a few weapons used by the Russian military that continue to collapse life in Ukraine.
MISSILES AND WARPLANES
The Russian military put several cruise missiles and warplanes to use throughout areas in Ukraine. The Kalibr, a precision weapon, targeted residential facilities in Ukrainian cities like Kharkiv and Kyiv. Missiles carried by warplanes also targeted military infrastructure and equipment.
For precise targets, the military incorporated Iskander missiles that can strike to a range of up to 500 kilometers (around 300 miles). According to reports, Iskander missiles were fired from the territory of Belarus.
In Ukraine, Russia also used the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal. The state-of-the-art Kh-47M2 Kinzhal (literally meaning "dagger"), developed in 2017, was one of six new weapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his state-of-the-nation address in 2018.
The Kinzhal is a hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile with a reported effective range of up to 2,000 kilometres. The missile can travel at speeds of up to Mach 10 and has excellent manoeuvrability, allowing it to avoid detection by most anti-missile defence systems.
The Kinzhal is a missile capable of delivering conventional high explosive warheads as well as nuclear warheads that may be launched from a number of platforms, including Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors.
ARTILLERY AND ROCKETS
Rocket launches shelled residential infrastructure, schools and buildings all across the country. Launch attacks in the city of Kharkiv left several civilians wounded and dead.
The most powerful rocket launchers include Grad, Smerch and Uragan. Designed by Russia, the launchers are used to eradicate heavily populated areas.
Moscow’s troops also own an extensive range of artillery units strangely named after flowers. The units include 152-mm Acacia and Hyacinth howitzers and a 203-mm Peony howitzer.
THERMOBARIC WEAPONS AND CLUSTER MUNITIONS
Although the Kremlin has denied putting cluster munitions to use, Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of heavily relying on the weapons.
Cluster bombs are used to inflict mass casualties by dispersing a series of bombs to strike multiple targets simultaneously.
Thermobaric weapons comprise a fuel container and two explosive charges. While the former detonates to disperse fuel particles, the latter sets the dispersed fuel on fire, forming a blast wave of excessive heat and pressure. Thermobaric weapons are particularly deadly for people in confined spaces.