Illusion About Destroying Patriot is the Only Guarantee of Kremlin's Survival: About russian Nukes and NATO Anti-Missile Defenses

Patriot air defense system / Illustrative photo credit: US Department of Defense
Patriot air defense system / Illustrative photo credit: US Department of Defense

Kinzhal missile wasn't created to be used against Ukraine but for a sole, very specific purpose in case of war against NATO, whether the missile is capable or not will determine if Putin ends up the same way as Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi

A few days ago, the russian federation stated that a combined attack with drones, ballistic and cruise missiles, including "hypersonic" Kh-47 "Kinzhal" unleashed upon Ukraine on May 16 allegedly destroyed the Patriot air defense system provided to the Ukrainian forces by allies.

And despite it seems reasonable to apply the repetitive presumption of lies to all the things russia says – because official data by the russian ministry of defense claims to have destroyed 5-7 times more aircraft, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and other types of weapons than a combined worth of all the equipment Ukraine had in stock as of 2021, plus all that's been either delivered by its allies in almost 15 months of the all-out war or only yet pledged for delivery in the long term – this particular Kremlin's lie is for some reason taken a bit more seriously.

Read more: Russians Are Still Afraid of HIMARS, Although They "Destroy" Them In the Third Or Fourth Round
Patriot airdefense system in Ukraine
Patriot airdefense system in Ukraine / Photo credit: Air Force of Ukraine

For some reason, when russian officials announce their army managed to destroy some Bradley fighting vehicles back in September last year even though the first actual vehicles arrived only this spring, or that they intercepted a Storm Shadow missile, these claims are perceived with an objective understanding of the level of lies in the russian federation. This is the kind of country that keeps convincing it already "destroyed" more HIMARS rocket systems than maybe ever been produced in the world, simultaneously suffering the "gestures of goodwill" as they call retreats from seized Ukrainian territories and attempting to conceal all that happens in reality: from the loss of the Moskva cruiser to the friendly fire by Bryansk air defense destroying five aircraft in a few minutes.

russia lives in a world where it has destroyed dozens of HIMARS systems in Ukraine, according to their official reports
russia lives in a world where it has destroyed dozens of HIMARS systems in Ukraine, according to their official reports / Illustrative photo credit: Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

But the fact that their new story about a "destroyed" Patriot is being discussed very lively actually shows how much resources the Kremlin has invested in the media domain, in particular at the international level. And there is a very simple explanation for such efforts: it's not just Patriot that matters. The real issue is that with these strikes, the russian federation is trying to prove the viability of the hypersonic weapons concept and its capability to counter the anti-missile defense employed by the USA and NATO.

Because the Kh-47 Kinzhal missile, which russians praise for taking down Patriot, was not created to fight against Ukraine. It was created for a sole and extremely specific task in the context of a potential war with NATO.

Kh-47 Kinzhal missile
Kh-47 Kinzhal missile / Open source illustrative photo

To figure out, we have to go back ten years. In the day, the United States started to build a system of air defense against russian intercontinental ballistic missiles. The core of this air defense was the RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 deployed on Arleigh Burke destroyers with Aegis combat system and land-based launchers deployed in Europe, namely in Poland and Romania.

The decision to place the anti-missile systems in Europe was made back in the late 2000s, and it highly displeased the Kremlin because unfolding these anti-missile systems would eliminate the threat coming russia in case of a nuclear conflict. Especially if it comes to the so-called decapitation strike strategy by the US and allies against the nuclear weapons of the russian federation – carried out either with conventional weapons or facilitated by own nuclear ones.

Given that such a pre-emptive strike does not guarantee destruction of 100% russian nuclear arsenal, the anti-missile systems become an important means of insurance that are meant to intercept those missiles that the Kremlin would be able to launch afterward. These systems, in turn, are covered from attacks by Patriot PAC-3.

RIM-161 Standard Missile 3
RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 / Illustrative photo credit: US Department of Defense

In response, russia starts developing weapons against the anti-missile defenses: first, they finish the Iskander short-range ballistic missile system and supply it to their army, sending the launchers to European enclave Kaliningrad. Iskander's main feature is declared to be capable of breaching the Patriot protection.

Then, they reveal the Kh-47 Kinzhal, a so-called "hypersonic" missile. The latter, compared to Iskander, has a much greater mobility and doesn't require deploying its carriers to the midst of Europe where they can be reached by adversary's tactical weapons.

It was important for russia to receive an air launched missile
It was important for russia to receive an air launched missile / Open source illustrative photo

The russians spent huge resource, and even in the name Kh-47M2 Kinzhal we see that only the second version of the missile was good enough to find its way into the russian army. The same concept lies in the basis of the Zircon sea-launched missile, another "wunderwaffe" made to threaten the US with.

That is why russian president Putin was so proudly saying that the Kh-47 Kinzhal can "guarantee breaking through all the existing and, I think, the prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, and delivering conventional or nuclear charges upon a target up to 2,000 km away."

In the Kremlin's fantasies, first Iskander, Kinzhal and Zircon missiles destroy the anti-missile systems, disregarding the "Patriot parasol" with a guaranteed result; then intercontinental missiles follow through the opened corridors, thus ensuring the effectiveness of the nuclear strike which russia brings up so extensively to threaten the entire world.

PAC-3 MSE interceptor for Patriot
PAC-3 MSE interceptor for Patriot / Illustrative photo credit: US Department of Defense

However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have proven that the Patriot can intercept russian missiles, be it ordinary ballistic missiles or "hypersonic" Kinzhal, and it caused panic in Moscow. The ministry of defense is in panic as it spent huge amounts of money to create new weapons and convince the Kremlin they would work properly. The developers are in panic because they claimed false capabilities Moscow wanted to hear. The Kremlin is in panic, too, since they realized all the resources spent in vain and the fact that the "decapitation strike" possibility still remains.

Panic has spread through all the levels because it was a strategic program, with associated budget and embezzlement scales. That is precisely why we saw a puzzling fire in the administrative building of the 2nd Central Research Institute of the ministry of defense of the russian federation in Tver that happened in April 2022. Then another, no less surprising explosion at the KB Mashinostroeniya in Kolomna near Moscow. That is, even back then, they started to cover the tracks, which repeated after the unsuccessful application of the Kh-47 Kinzhal missile in Ukraine.

For that reason, the illusion of the Patriot destruction is being created at all possible levels – it will determine whether a whole bunch of russian officials will make it out alive from this situation. Secondly, Putin understands well that all that makes him any different from Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi is that he has nuclear weapons. Yet.

Read more: Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Says russians Urgently Evacuating Nuclear Stocks from Belgorod Region