Putin’s major aerial attack on Ukraine cost Russia $1.2 billion: Report

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Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s military on Friday launched what’s been called the largest aerial attack of the Ukraine war, and one economic-focused Ukrainian outlet estimated the cost of the assault for Russia to be at least $1.273 billion.

The figure was calculated by Ekonomichna Pravda (Economic Truth), which tallied the prices of the drones and missiles the Ukrainian Air Force reported Russia used during the massive assault.

The Associated Press (AP), citing Ukrainian officials, said at least 30 civilians were killed in the strikes that took place across the country—including on the capital Kyiv—and at least 144 people were wounded. The AP reported Russia used 122 missiles and dozens of drones in what was a bombardment that lasted around 18 hours. Officials said a maternity hospital, schools and residential apartments were among the structures damaged.

Ekonomichna Pravda, which cited data from Forbes, reported that Russia spent an estimated $1.17 billion on 90 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 long-range missiles missiles alone in the attack. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank in a Friday assessment noted Forbes “previously reported that Russian Kh-101 cruise missiles cost an estimated $13 million per missile.”

Workers respond to a fire in Kyiv
Emergency personnel on Friday work to extinguish a fire at a warehouse after rocket attacks in Kyiv, Ukraine. An economic website calculated Russia spent at least $1.2 billion in its large-scale aerial attack that was conducted throughout Ukraine.
Photo by Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/GETTY IMAGES

“Russian forces notably appear to be using larger quantities of the more expensive Kh-101 cruise missiles to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses and increase the chances of striking targets in Ukraine with smaller quantities of cheaper missile variants,” the ISW said.

While the bulk of the attack tally went toward Kh-101 missiles, Russia also reportedly used Kh-47 hypersonic missiles; Kh-22/Kh-32 cruise missiles; S-300/S-400/Iskander-M ballistic missiles; Kh-47M2 “Kinzhal” missiles; Kh-31P anti-radar missiles; one Kh-59 missile; and 36 Shahed-136/131 drones.

The total amount spent on the attack, according to Ekonomichna Pravda, was $1,273,220,000.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email on Friday for comment.

In its assessment of the attack, the ISW said the mix of weapons came as a result of “several months of Russian experimentation with various drone and missile combinations and efforts to test Ukrainian air defenses.” According to the think tank, Ukrainian military officials have observed Russia’s military often uses drones first to “probe Ukrainian air defense and determine what strike routes most effectively circumvent Ukrainian air defense clusters.”

The ISW reported in October that Russian forces were diversifying its mix of aerial weapons to identify potential weaknesses in Ukraine’s air defenses. On Friday, the ISW wrote that “Russia was likely deliberately stockpiling missiles of various sizes through the fall and early winter of 2023 in order to build a more diverse strike package and apply lessons learned over the course of various recent reconnaissance and probing missions.”

The reason for large strikes such as the one conducted on Friday, according to the ISW, is Putin’s forces are attempting “to degrade Ukrainian morale and Ukraine’s ability to sustain its war effort against Russia.”

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Putin’s major aerial attack on Ukraine cost Russia $1.2 billion: Report

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