Ukraine identifies Russian unit responsible for Kh-22 missile attack on Dnipro

Ukraine officials said on Sunday which Russian military unit they believe was responsible for the bombing of a high-rise apartment building in Dnipro that killed more than two dozen people.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said it was Russia’s 52nd Guards Bomber Regiment.

“According to preliminary information, the Kh-22 missile was deployed. This type of missile results in the greatest human casualties because the missile is extremely inaccurate, has enormous deviation. Therefore, using such weapons on targets in densely populated areas is clearly a war crime,” Ukraine’s bureau said in a Telegram post. “This type of missile was used in Sergiyivka and Kremenchuk. It can be fired by a single Russian unit – the 52nd Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment.”

Kh-22 missiles on Dnipro
Firefighters conduct search and rescue operations at a residential building hit by rockets January 15, 2023 in Dnipro, Ukraine. On January 14, Russia launched a new massive attack on Ukrainian cities. In Dnipro, one of the Х-22 cruise missiles hit a nine-story residential building, completely destroying one of the sections from the top to the bottom floor. The death toll has risen to 21 people. The rescue work continues.
Photo by Yevhenii Zavhorodnii/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

The Kh-22 missiles were largely responsible for the massive destruction and death of Dnipro in disputed eastern Ukraine on Saturday, where Russia has already occupied many areas and is fighting to save that area.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released video on Saturday showing a nine-story apartment building in Dnipro that was reduced to rubble, killing at least five people.

“Eternal memory of all who lost their lives [Russian] Terror! The world must stop evil. Debris clearing in Dnipro continues. All services work. We fight for every human being, every life. We will find everyone involved in the terror. Everyone will be responsible. Extremely,” Zelenskyy wrote.

The city of Dnipro declared a three-day period of mourning in honor of the 29 people killed in Saturday’s rocket attacks.

The Attorney General’s office called the attacks a crime against humanity because it was not a military installation.

“This tragedy is not just a war crime, it is a crime against humanity. A large-scale killing of civilians in Ukraine,” the office said. “Every important piece of evidence is documented. The investigation and prosecutors will identify and bring to justice both those who directly fired the missiles and their commanders who gave this criminal order. The entire Russian military leadership.”

On Saturday night, Ukraine said it did not have enough equipment to launch missiles like the Kh-22 or X-22 used in Dnipro.

“In the Armed Forces of Ukraine there are no firing devices capable of launching this type of missile. Since the beginning of the Russian military aggression in Ukraine, more than 210 missiles of this type have been fired. None of them are shot down from the air defense equipment,” said Lieutenant General Nikolai Oleshuk, commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

While Ukraine has defense systems capable of deciphering that they are Kh-22 missiles, it does not have the capability to launch them.

“Only anti-aircraft missile complexes that can be made available to Ukraine by Western partners in the future (systems such as Patriot PAC-3 or SAMP-T) are capable of intercepting data air targets,” Oleshuk said.

The United States pledged Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine at a meeting with Zelenskyy and US President Joe Biden in late 2022. Other Western European nations have also pledged similar air defense systems. Ukraine identifies Russian unit responsible for Kh-22 missile attack on Dnipro

Rick Schindler

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