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Expert says Russia fired more than 13 ballistic missiles on Ukraine

At least 13 different Iskander-M ballistic missile launches were fired by Russia in the widescale invasion of Ukraine, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.

“Based on reports of varying reliability, I estimate at least 13 different Iskander-M missile launches since Feb 23 (quite possibly many more) against Ukraine from sites near Yeysk (Kras.Krai), Belgorod (SW Russia) and Mozyr/Kalinkavichy (Belarus).,” McDowell wrote on Twitter.

He also noted that these launches have ranges of several hundred km but apogees probably around 50-60 km, so they won’t show up in the JSR [Jonathan’s Space Report] table of space launches.


“Targets have included Kyiv, Odessa Myrhorod, Balakleya, and Zhytomyr,” said McDowell adding that “My heart goes out to all in Ukraine facing these attacks.”

The Iskander (NATO: SS-26 “Stone”) is a Russian road-mobile short-range ballistic missile with a range of up to 500 km. Using a common transporter-erector-launcher and support vehicles, the system can fire the 9M728 (R-500, SSC-7) ballistic missiles and 9M729 (SSC-8) cruise missiles.

According to, 9M723 short-range ballistic missile is 7.3 meters long, 0.92 meters in diameter, and has a launch weight of 3,800 kilograms.6 The missiles possess a maximum range of 500 km and carry payloads between 480 and 700 kg.

As CNN previously reported, the US has seen more than 400 missiles (all types) fired by Russia in the invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainians still have air missile defense systems that remain “viable and intact and engaged,” according to the official.

The official also said that while Russia still has not achieved air superiority, “there are areas where they have more control than others.”

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