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34 INJURED IN LARGE-SCALE MISSILE STRIKE ON CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN UKRAINE

Region of Concern: Ukraine

Written By Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg; Edited by Cameron Munoz

Date: May 1, 2023


Ukraine Military[1]


Event: On May 1, Russia launched several missiles against Ukraine, injuring at least 34 people. Russia used strategic aircraft, nine Tu-95 aircraft, and two Tu-160 aircraft, and the shelling began around 0230 local time. Ukraine’s air defense shot down 15 of 18 missiles, but some missiles still hit infrastructure in Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk Region. The missiles damaged both industrial and residential areas, and three people are being treated in intensive care. Several cities in the region also lost power due to the damage caused to critical infrastructure. Missiles and drones also attacked the Kyiv Region, where air defenses successfully shot them down.[2] This is the second large-scale missile attack in three days. Russian officials claim to have targeted railway infrastructure and fuel depots in Pavlohrad, but official sources in Ukraine have not confirmed this.[3]


Significance: Targeting critical infrastructure, like power stations, railways, and fuel depots, will likely increase the difficulty for Ukrainian forces to transport weaponry and soldiers to other areas, affecting the military’s ability to push back the Russian military on the ground. Forcing the Ukrainian military to focus their strategy on defensive efforts has a roughly even chance of leading to a lack of weapons intended for offensive warfare against Russian forces. As the war prolongs, Ukraine’s allies will likely grow unwilling to send more weapons, affecting the chances for Ukraine’s military to win the war. Damages to critical infrastructure will very likely also affect the Ukrainian population’s access to food and clean water. If Russian missile attacks continue on a larger scale, damage to railways and lack of fuel will also very likely make it difficult for civilians to flee to the Western parts of the country. With few ways to escape from war-torn areas, the shelling will likely result in many more civilian casualties. The multi-front war across the country will likely also slow reconstruction efforts, resulting in prolonged shortages of necessary supplies, like power, food, and communications for the population. Russia will very likely continue to target critical infrastructure all over the country, making it dangerous for companies to work near and on these sites.


Recommendations: The Ukrainian government should cooperate with private companies to swiftly start the reconstruction of critical infrastructure that was hit in these attacks. The Ukrainian military should ensure the safety of the workers on these sites by monitoring potential threats and stopping attacks that target these areas. A system of prioritization should be developed by the Ukrainian government to more efficiently evaluate the immediate need for reconstruction. Military facilities and bomb shelters should be prioritized when evaluating the need for reconstruction to ensure access to necessities such as power, food, water, and heat at these facilities. The local governments should work with community leaders to share information about safe areas and procedures to follow in case of an emergency while also stressing the significance of air alarms. This information campaign should be done through traditional media, social media, and paper pamphlets that people can follow even during a power loss. EU members, the USA, and its allies should send financial support, material, and, if possible, personnel to aid in rebuilding critical infrastructure. EU members and the USA should also work with the Ukrainian government to develop a long-term plan for reconstructing Ukraine, both immediately after the attacks and in the future when the war is over.

 

[2] Russia launches large-scale missile strike overnight, injuring at least 34 people, The Kyiv Independent, May 2023, https://kyivindependent.com/russian-missile-strike-overnight-may-1/

[3] Ukraine war: Russia launches second pre-dawn missile attack in three days, BBC News, May 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65446525

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