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UK: ‘Realistic Possibility’ Russian Anti-Radar Missile Hit Civilian Ship

A harbor pilot was killed and three crew members and a port worker were injured Wednesday with a Russian anti-radar missile, likely a AS-17 Krypton, hit a civilian Liberian-flagged cargo ship at Pivdennyi port, in Odesa, Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defense said Friday.

The ship was loading freight iron ore headed to China, a Russian ally, according to Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry.

The missile, the ministry said in its daily report on Ukraine, was “likely being used” to target Ukrainian military radars in the area. The ministry said that without a live military radar signature in the area, there is a “realistic possibility” that the missile locked on to the civilian ship’s radar. If that is what happened, it would be a demonstration of “poor weapons employment tactics on behalf of the Russian pilot.”

In other developments, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is overextending Russian domestic military resources and is straining “its ability to retain baseline defenses across its vast area,” the British Defense Ministry said Thursday in its daily intelligence report about the conflict in Ukraine.

The ministry said that analysis of recent reports about the loss of several Russian SA-21 long range surface to air missile (SAM) systems indicates that for Russia to continue its coverage of Ukraine, Russia will highly likely need to reallocate SAMs routinely used to protect distant Russian regions.

Long-range SAMs, like the SA-21, can hit targets up to 400 kilometers away, according to the daily British report. Russia’s SA-21s are strategically located throughout Russia, including along its borders. Removing them, the British ministry said, “would almost certainly weaken Russia’s air defense posture on its peripheries.”

If Russia does move any SAM systems, the ministry said, the move would “further demonstrate” how the conflict in Ukraine continues to overextend Russia’s military.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily address that 89 Ukrainian nationals have been rescued from Gaza, so far.

The president said he talked about the conflict in the Middle East during a conversation with the president of Indonesia.

“It is very important that as many civilians as possible are protected and that the war that is going on in the Middle East does not lead to a full-scale collapse of international stability,” Zelenskyy said in his address. “Everyone needs security and peace.”

Zelenskyy also said he and President Joko Widodo discussed global food security and Ukraine’s maritime export corridors. Zelenskyy said the corridors are one of Ukraine’s “greatest successes” and provides security for both Ukraine and the entire world.

In eastern Ukraine, Russia is intensifying its assault on the town of Avdiika. Russia has focused on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since early in its invasion when its push to Kyiv failed. Avdiika, a gateway to the city of Donetsk, 20 kilometers to the east, has been under Russia assault since mid-October.

The head of Avdiika’s military administration said Russian forces were shelling the area but their infantry was held back by wet ground after several days of rain.

In its Thursday evening report, Ukraine’s General Staff said it repelled 11 attacks near Avdiika, 15 in nearby Maryinka sector and 22 in Bakhmut.

Source : VOA