On July 29, CNN announced that Ukrainian military has launched three tactical ballistic missiles against targets in Donbass.
“A source of the US special services says the Ukrainian army has employed short-range ballistic missiles against the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, CNN reported. According to the source, the USA has data indicating the Ukrainian security forces have employed short-range ballistic missiles against the rebels over the past 48 hours.”
The news should have been picked up by all major media outlets because, as “Economic Policy Journal” rightly notes, this signifies a “major escalation” in the war in Ukraine. Interestingly, nobody seemed to care. The fact that the story was quietly dismissed is telling in itself. Let’s see what we can find out from the bits and pieces around the Internet. If U.S. Government uses Internet social networks as sources of “reliable information”, why should we not follow their lead?
There were apparently three missiles of type SS-21 Scarab fired from somewhere not too far away from the war zone as the range of the missiles is only 70-120 km. Two missiles targeted the Malaysian Boeing crash site, the remaining one – the strategic high point of “Saur Mogila” held by the Donetsk Republic forces.
The tactical ballistic missiles carry something like half a ton of regular explosive charge with fragmentation filling or a 100 kt nuclear warhead. The damage they do is extensive and if they arrived to the targets, there would not be much left of the targets. Plus, we would have heard about it. And we did not. The missiles did not arrive anywhere, apparently.
So what happened to the missiles? The reliable Internet sources of the U.S. Government report that the ballistic missiles were destroyed in the air by the Russian anti-missile defense system. All three of them.
Most likely, the Russian anti-missile systems caught the start of the ballistic missiles. The missiles were flying east, roughly towards the Russian border and, mind you, those missiles are controlled from the ground during the whole flight, so they could be directed towards Russia at any time. Because of that, and especially since those missiles can carry nuclear warheads, the reaction of the military would be predictable: “intercept and destroy!” And so they did.
Notice how John Kerry called Sergei Lavrov right after that and U.S. announced the readiness for a ceasefire in Ukraine immediately. Notice also how CNN was specifically and insistently pointing out that the missiles were not directed at Russia. It might be that the whole thing was again a provocation to pull Russia into the war. Russia would have to answer with force to an annihilation of a medium-sized town on the border with Ukraine by a Ukrainian missile. And that would mean war, response with missile and airstrike, and a direct intervention. With a fair chance of war between Europe and Russia as a result.
Looking at the reaction of U.S., it seems that Americans closely monitored the start and the flight of Ukrainian missiles. And likely were the initiators of this whole adventure. This was a very dangerous provocation and we have to give credit to Russia for dealing with it cool and level-headed.
Meanwhile, U.S. seems to be playing a foul game on the brink of a thermonuclear Armageddon.