On 26 July, an air attack alert was declared twice in Ukraine due to massive Russian missile attacks. First, the Kremlin attacked Ukrainian regions from the Black Sea and fired missiles from Tu-95MS bombers from the Caspian Sea.
Russia fired Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea
The Ukrainian Air Force announced a threat linked to Russian military aircraft activity in the Black Sea. In the afternoon, explosions were heard in the Zhytomyr and Vinnytsia regions. The monitoring groups reported that air defence neutralised missile threats.
Later, the Ukrainian Air Force declared that Russia had attacked the Vinnytsia region with two Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea. They noted that the missiles were probably launched from a Russian submarine. The missiles entered the airspace from the Southeast, changing course along the route.
In the Zhytomyr region, Russian missiles were also shot down by Ukraine’s Air defences.
Russian troops fired missiles from 12 Tu-95ms bombers
In the evening, a group of Russian Tu-95ms (12 aircraft) took off from the Olenya airfield, the Murmansk region of Russia, the Ukrainian Air Force alerted.
At the same time, the military reported that Russia launched cruise missiles from 12 Tu-95MS bombers from the Caspian Sea.
Later, explosions were reported in Khmelnytskyi, Sumy, Kirovohrad, Dnipro, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, and Kyiv regions.
The spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, said that at first, the air defences spotted Russia’s MiG-31K fighters in the sky, then high-speed targets. Possibly, “Kinzhal” and ballistic missiles.
Yuriy Ihnat explained that Russia launched the missiles from the Caspian Sea:
“They came from the Southeast (from the Russia-occupied Ukrainian territories), they were heading for Kharkiv region, changed course to Dnipro; then to Kropyvnytskyi and moved towards the crossroads of Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, Odesa regions and towards Ternopil and Lviv regions; in the Lviv region, they turned back 180 degrees and were directed to the area of Starokostiantyniv, Khmelnytskyi region.Yuriy Ihnat, Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force reported the downing of Russian cruise missiles in Kyiv, Dnipro and Kharkiv regions.
Ukrainian Air Force shot down 36 Russian missiles
On the evening of 26 July, the Ukrainian Air Force reported that three Kalibr missiles were destroyed during a daytime attack from the Black Sea.
In addition, out of 36 missiles launched by Russia from eight Tu-95MS strategic bombers, our air defence shot down 33 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles. Although the missiles entered Ukraine’s airspace from the Southeast, they were heading west, constantly changing direction.
Thanks to the Western-supplied air defence systems, Ukraine’s air defence servicemen managed to shoot down at least 36, according to the report missiles. However, not all Russian missiles were downed; in some cases, missile debris fell and caused destruction.
On 26 July, Ukrainian air defence forces shot down 36 cruise missiles fired from the territory of the Russian Federation in the skies over Ukraine, according to their report.
“Today, Ukraine’s air defence forces destroyed 36 air targets. It was a difficult day, but thanks to the coordinated actions of all defenders of the sky, we repelled this attack!”Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said that Russian cruise missiles targeted the town of Starokostiantyniv, Khmelnytsky region, where the airfield is located.
But Russian attacks continued. On the night of 27 July, Russian invaders launched a missile attack on the port infrastructure of the Odesa region, killing a guard, local authorities reported.
“A missile attack killed a civilian employee at one of the port’s administrative buildings. Production equipment at one of the cargo terminals was damaged.”Oleh Kiper, Head of Odesa Regional Administration
It is reported that the Russians fired the Kalibr missiles from a submarine in the Black Sea at a critically low altitude, which made it difficult to detect. In addition, it was difficult for the air defence system to operate because of the short time available, as the attack was carried out at close range.
Russian troops launched a rocket attack near a 5-storey residential building in Kupyansk district, killing a woman and injuring 4 other people, local authorities reported.
“Last night, the enemy struck with a KAB-250 guided missile at the village of Kivsharivka in Kupyansk district. An explosion occurred near a 5-storey residential building. The building was damaged; a wall collapsed in one of the apartments. The neighbouring 9-storey building was also damaged. Unfortunately, a woman, 74 years old, died. Women aged 35, 81 and 71 and a 74-year-old man were injured; their condition is average.”Oleh Syniehubov, Head of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration
Also at night, an S-300 missile hit a non-residential building in the village of Velykyi Burluk, Kupyansk district. The building was damaged, and a fire broke out.
With Western-supplied air defence systems, Ukraine’s air defence servicemen manage to shoot down most of the missiles and drones that Russia uses for the attacks and save lives. But as the country’s territory is vast, and the missile attacks are massive, Kyiv still lacks air defence capabilities to protect all the cities and infrastructure.