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Video Above: Russia's Modernized Electronic Warfare Capabilities: Deploying Drones, Launching Cyber Attacks & Jamming Systems

By Kris Osborn - President & Editor-In-Chief, Warrior Maven

So…will Russian-Ukrainian “talks” In Belarus work to pause or potentially even end the war in Ukraine? Much hangs in the balance, particularly given the number of refugees and reports of civilian casualties. 

Senior Russian military leaders have told the country’s state-owned TASS news service that their military campaign is surgically aimed at striking military targets, air defenses and airports, however both Pentagon officials and public news reports suggest otherwise. 

Russia Short Range Ballistic Missiles 

According to a Pentagon transcript of a discussion between a senior US official and reporters Feb 26 before talks were announced, DoD says Russia is firing Short Range Ballistic Missiles into Ukraine. 

“I would also say that despite Russian claims to the contrary, we continue to see civilian infrastructure and residential areas impacted and damaged by these missile strikes. Again we're not able to tell you whether those locations were intentionally targeted but there's no doubt in our mind that civilian infrastructure and residential areas are being hit as a result of these barrages,” the senior official said. 

A damaged residential building in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

A damaged residential building in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

As of Feb 26, Russia has fired as many as 250 missiles, mostly consisting of SRBMs into Ukraine at various targets. It would seem that Russia may have been attempting to cripple Ukraine’s command and control, transportation and weapons storage areas, without necessarily unloading a barrage of heavy fire into urban areas. 

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However, this has not seemed to have the intended impact, as Pentagon reports are clear that the Ukrainian resistance is stronger than Russia may have anticipated. 

In terms of impact reported by the Pentagon, Russian attacks on command and control and cyberattacks have not shut down Ukrainian internet connectivity. The senior Pentagon official said there have only been “intermittent outages” which have not shut down Ukraine’s computer systems. 

While very little tactical details of certain warfare developments are likely not available for understandable security reasons, the strength and apparent unexpected success of Ukraine’s defense seems to suggest that perhaps their weapons systems are operating with the requisite amount of command and control, computing and perhaps even RF or electronic connectivity. 

Natali Sevriukova stands next to her damaged house following a rocket attack in the city of Kyiv. [Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo]

Natali Sevriukova stands next to her damaged house following a rocket attack in the city of Kyiv. [Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo]

Russia was known for its effective use of EW during its 2014 invasion of Crimea and Ukraine, yet an interesting Pentagon report from Fox News cited DoD officials as saying Russia did not choose to use EW at the beginning of the military attack. 

Will Russia escalate? It certainly seems to be a troubling possibility, particularly if the initial military plan is not being met with hoped for success. This could lead to much more damage to Ukraine’s cities and civilian population.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest and President of Warrior Maven - the Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization