Russia has deployed 46 of its Iskander missile systems along Ukraine’s border, a spokesperson for Kyiv’s military intelligence agency (GUR) has said.
Moscow’s Iskander systems can fire cruise and ballistic missiles at Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, Vadym Skibitskyi, the deputy head of Ukraine’s GUR, told a media briefing in Kyiv on Sunday.
On Friday, the Ukrainian military said Russia had struck the city of Kryvyi Rih with an Iskander-K missile system. Throughout the day on Friday, Russia had launched a total of 13 strikes on Ukrainian targets, Kyiv’s General Staff said in a statement on Saturday morning.
Moscow’s forces have frequently used Iskander missiles in strikes on Ukrainian targets—the tactical system can launch either conventional or nuclear warheads.
Also known under its Western reporting name, SS-26, the surface-to-surface hardware was “considered the most advanced missile of its kind” when it was first introduced, the U.S. military has said. It was first launched in the mid-1990s, and the Iskander-M system was officially adopted by the Russian military in 2006.
In an operational update on Sunday, Ukraine’s General Staff said Russia had fired two missiles over the past day, as well as attacking its territory with 32 Iranian-designed one-way suicide drones. Ukraine’s air defenses shot down 25 of the Shahed drones, Kyiv’s military said.
Ukraine’s military also said on Sunday that its forces were carrying out “defensive operations in the east and offensive operations in southern Ukraine.”
Ukraine is now more than three months into its counteroffensive, which began across its eastern and southern front lines with Russia, although clashes in the annexed Zaporizhzhia region have been the focus of headlines in recent weeks.
Kyiv officials and commanders said earlier this month they had broken through the first line of Russian defenses around the Zaporizhzhia town of Robotyne, which had become a hotspot of fighting.
General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the BBC on Sunday that Ukraine’s forces have up to six weeks remaining before poor weather conditions set in.
“They haven’t finished the fighting part of what they’re trying to accomplish,” he said.
“There’s still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left, so the Ukrainians aren’t done,” Milley said.
But the head of Ukraine’s GUR, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, said the “counteroffensive will continue” regardless of the weather conditions in the later months of this year.
“Combat actions will continue in one way or another,” Budanov said on Saturday. “In the cold, wet and mud, it is more difficult to fight. Fighting will continue.”