Russia Launched Nearly 1,000 Missiles Since Invasion, Fired ‘Huge Amount’ Overnight: Officials

Russia Launched Nearly 1,000 Missiles Since Invasion, Fired ‘Huge Amount’ Overnight: Officials
A firefighter walks outside a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 15, 2022. (Vadim Ghirda/AP Photo)

Russian warships on Wednesday night launched missiles and artillery at the Ukrainian sea coast near Tuzla, a village to the south of Odesa, a top Ukrainian official said.

“They fired a huge amount of ammunition from a great distance,” Anton Gerashchenko, a former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, confirmed in a statement on Facebook.

Gerashchenko said that he believes Russia wanted to test Ukraine’s coastal defense system, adding that there was no attempt to land paratroops. He didn’t clarify whether any of the shelling hit anything.

More than 950 missiles were fired since Russian forces started their attack on the former Soviet nation about three weeks ago, up from an estimated 900 on Monday, a senior U.S. Defense Department (USDOD) official said on Tuesday, adding that both Russia and Ukraine still retain about 90 percent of their combat power.

As airstrikes continue, the United States has seen indications that Russia may believe it needs more troops and supplies than it has on hand in the country, and is considering ways to get resources brought in, said the USDOD official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. military assessments.

NTD Photo
Ukrainian servicemen carry a washing machine as they help to relocate goods from a destroyed market in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 15, 2022. (Andrew Marienko/AP Photo)

The official did not elaborate on the indications, and said that as of Tuesday, however, there has been no actual movement of reinforcement troops currently in Russia going into Ukraine.

According to the official, Russian ground forces are still about 9–12 miles northwest of Kyiv and 12–19 miles east of the city, which is being increasingly hit by long-range strikes. The official said Ukrainian troops continue to put up stiff resistance in Kharkiv and other areas.

British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) also said in a March 17 update that the advance of Russian forces had mostly bogged down on all fronts amid what it described as “staunch and well-coordinated” Ukrainian resistance.

“Russian forces have made minimal progress on land, sea, or air in recent days and they continue to suffer heavy losses,” SIS said in the update.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said that Russia has lost about 14,000 personnel in addition to 1,435 armored combat vehicles, 444 tanks, 201 artillery systems, 86 aircraft, 108 helicopters, three ships, among other equipment since the war on Ukraine began on Feb. 24.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.