Drone and missile attacks will not last indefinitely. When will they end? Interview

October 21, 2022

The terror unleashed against Ukraine by the aggressor country, Russia, targeting Ukrainian cities with missiles and kamikaze drones cannot last indefinitely, for a number of natural reasons. In particular, the Russian Federation has run out of its stock of "precision-guided" weapons, such as Kalibr cruise missiles. The Ukrainian Defence Forces have learned to shot down up to 90% of Iranian Shaheds.

Kind of a sign that the enemy has run out of its stock, and the intensity of shelling will decrease, may be found in the statement of the Kremlin’s leader Vladimir Putin, that "the goals have been achieved." Meanwhile, massive attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities brought our allies together, so, Ukraine may receive anti-missile and anti-aircraft weapons in the nearest future. This opinion was expressed by the co-director of foreign policy programmes, coordinator of international projects of Razumkov Centre, military expert Oleksiy Melnyk in an exclusive interview with OBOZREVATEL. 

— What is your opinion about the attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities? British intelligence believes that the purpose of this campaign is to cause large-scale damage to the Ukrainian energy distribution network. By contrast, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggests that the main goal of the aggressor lies in psychological terror against the population of Ukraine.

— I totally agree with these conclusions. They have at least two main goals: the first one is to terrorise the civilian population, expecting that this may cause not only additional sufferings but also internal destabilisation. The path chosen by Russia is absolutely cynical and pragmatic. These strikes are especially painful before winter, because winter means an increased demand for energy.

The second thing noted by foreign experts is how the Russian leadership tries to make up for the lack of success on the battlefield and present it to the Russian public as decisive actions. It is worth noting that in Russian social networks, which I monitor from time to time, it really finds a very positive response.

Russians are sincerely happy that Ukraine, as they say, is being "driven into the stone age." This is a very alarming signal, because it indicates serious mental deviations in Russian society, at the national level. There are absolutely clear signs of sadism, when a person takes pleasure in the sufferings of another person.

Will it make their lives better? Not sure. But at least it makes them very happy.

— How long do you think this missile campaign of the aggressor will last, and how can it be stopped?

— If we start with positive forecasts, it cannot last forever or for a long time, since, according to reputable expert assessments, Russia is running out of its stock of so-called precision-guided weapons. First of all, we are talking about Kalibrs, to which Ukraine was quite vulnerable.

The drones that continue to bring a lot of suffering and destruction to Ukraine, as we can see, are mostly intercepted. As we know, the first attacks were almost unpunished, but according to recent reports, up to 80-90% of these drones are shot down by our air defence, with fire or electronic warfare means.

It is a classic example that when some new weapon appears, it has a short-term effect because the opposing side finds tactics or weapons to neutralise the threat. 

If we talk about a signal, when it may happen that we reduce, if not stop, their intensity, it can be given by Vladimir Vladimirovich. Just listen when he says that "the goals have been achieved." Of course, that doesn't mean he stops firing, but it may be a sign that at least they have exhausted their options for further damage.

— Iran is going to supply Russia with ballistic missiles. What shall we do with this?

— Yes, there are confirmations that they either supply or intend to supply them. In addition to the countermeasures that our Defence Forces are already taking, there is great hope and reliance on our Western partners. There are signs of understanding in this respect.

This issue will not be resolved immediately, but our partners in Europe and the US have leverage over the Iranian leadership. In addition, there are quite dynamic processes and internal protests taking place in Iran itself. Therefore, a radical solution may be found, if the protests develop into revolutionary events.

— Indeed, most of the so-called kamikaze drones are destroyed by our Defence Forces. But can we hope that the anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems provided by our allies will be able to fully protect the Ukrainians from these strikes?

— Not even the most modern systems can currently provide a hundred percent guarantee of protection. It is simply about an acceptable level of threat neutralisation. The solution here lies in capacity building. 

Indeed, there is good news regarding the supply of such systems to Ukraine. Furthermore, every time Russia does something to undermine Ukraine's ability to resist, it achieves the opposite effect. These massive strikes, which have been going on for the second week now have become, perhaps, the strongest argument in favour of supporting Ukraine. With the understanding of the existing technical limitations, we may hope that the pace and volume of supply of means for protection against missile and air attacks will increase.

Tetiana Haizhevska


Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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