Ukraine Says It Tricked Russia Into Striking Decoy Targets

Ukraine Says It Tricked Russia Into Striking Decoy Targets

( – The war between Russia and Ukraine is in its third year, and neither side is showing any signs of abating. In fact, both countries have seemingly redoubled their efforts. Russia is pushing forward, trying to claim more land, while Ukraine is using weapons and munitions provided by the West to defend itself. Ukraine has reportedly set up decoy sites, hoping to trick Russia into using its costly weapons on insignificant targets. According to recent reports, they claim to have succeeded.

Russia’s Proclamation

On Sunday, July 7, Russia’s defense ministry claimed it had carried out missile strikes, hitting and destroying Patriot air defense launch systems. It said it launched Iskander-M ballistic missiles, attacking a location in the port of Yuzhne in the Black Sea, near Odesa. Additionally, officials claimed to have destroyed a radar station.

A few days before that, Russian officials said they carried out attacks and obliterated aircraft in Ukraine’s Dolgintsevo airfield. Video footage of the mission appeared on X, formerly Twitter, and reportedly showed missiles damaging two attack aircraft and a MiG-29 fighter.

… Not So Fast

Ukraine was quick to try to burst Russia’s bubble, saying that the Patriot systems the adversarial nation claimed to have hit were only decoys. The planes Russian troops hit were allegedly fake, too. The defensive country reportedly presented the false targets in a ploy to avoid damage to its munitions and equipment.

Ukraine’s Air Force Commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, posted on Telegram noting that the aircraft were elaborate mockups and that his country had duped Russia into using their expensive missiles to carry out attacks that were, instead, fruitless. “The enemy now has fewer Iskander missiles, and more mock-ups will be delivered,” he wrote, thanking those who created the mock-ups for ensuring their realistic appearances.

Ukrainian officials said that the purpose behind the mock-ups was to get Russia to use its arsenal of artillery shells, drones, and missiles on false missions, reducing its stockpile. While he would typically have remained silent, Oleshchuk said he spoke out this time to “show the public that not everything is straightforward.”

This strategy was a tactic that Ukraine it has reportedly deployed repeatedly in its efforts to beat Russia. Russia has also reportedly tried similar efforts, painting images of naval vessels on land to tempt enemy combatants into wasting munitions.

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