Russia fired ‘dummy NUKE missile’ at Kyiv in ‘sinister warning Putin could launch the real thing’, experts warn | The Sun11/18/2022
RUSSIA has fired a cruise missile with a mock nuclear warhead at Ukraine, according to reports.
It is claimed Ukrainian troops uncovered the dummy warhead after at least four kamikaze drones and two cruise missiles were shot down by Kyiv's air defences on Thursday.
One of the two missiles launched by Moscow was a Soviet Kh-55 missile with a fake nuke warhead, the Strategic Communications Centre of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said, quoting a Defense Express report.
It is claimed an empty block was screwed onto the missile to imitate a nuclear warhead before it was fired at Ukraine.
According to experts, it could be a "message" to the West about a possible nuclear escalation of the war, or a sign Moscow is struggling with its missile supply and instead is trying to "overload" Ukraine's air system by launching projectiles even if they do not explode.
The outlet claims Russian troops may have removed the "special warhead" from the Kh-55 and attached a "blank shell" as they were unable to load a conventional warhead onto it.
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The Kh-55 – also known as X-55 – has a range of up to 2,500km and is launched from bomber aircraft.
Russia is understood to usually use X-555 missile when attacking Ukraine – a "non-nuclear" modification of the Kh-55 missile with a conventional warhead to carry explosives.
It is thought the reported use of the nuclear-capable missile highlights how the Kremlin is understood to be running low on long-range missiles.
Western officials previously said Russia was increasingly relying on Iranian drones as it was struggling with its own stockpiles.
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By August, Ukrainian intelligence claimed Russia had used around 55 per cent of its missiles since the invasion began just six months prior in February.
Security analyst Michael Horowitz believes the alleged use of the fake nuke warhead could have two potential meanings.
He tweeted: "1. This is meant as a message to #Kyiv and the West regarding possible nuclear escalation.
"2. Russia is running out of missiles, and trying to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses even with missile that do not carry out any explosives.
"Gut feeling is option 2, given that we've had plenty of evidence Russia is running low on stock, but I would not rule out option 1."
According to an expert, Ukraine handed around 400 Kh-55 missiles to Russia in a bid to previously settle a gas debt.
He claimed these have since been repurposed into conventional X-555 missiles and used to blast Ukrainian territory.
Defense Express analyst Serhiy Zgurets told Radio NV: "The evil joke is that about 400 X-55 missiles, which we handed over to the Russians, they converted to X-555s, and now these missiles are used for strikes on the territory of Ukraine.
"I emphasise, these are the missiles that we gave to the Russians in exchange for part of the so-called gas debt."
It comes as Putin's war continues to rage on after the tyrant arrogantly believed he could sweep in and take Kyiv in a matter of days.
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