- Russia has ‘never looked weaker,’ a researcher at the Oslo Nuclear Project told Sky News.
- This comes after Ukraine said it repelled multiple of Russia’s ‘undefeatable’ Kinzhal missiles.
- Russia’s position in the war will only get worse, Fabian Hoffmann said.
After Ukraine recently claimed to have repelled multiple Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, Russia has “never looked weaker,” a defense and nuclear strategy researcher told Sky News on Thursday.
Fabian Hoffmann, a doctoral research fellow at the Oslo Nuclear Project, told UK’s Sky News in an interview that — when it comes to firing missiles — militaries on the offensive are generally thought to have the upper hand. In this case, however, the “offense-defense balance” is being “turned upside down.”
“This is a truly remarkable development,” he said of Russia’s drawn-out and bloody invasion of Ukraine.
This comes after Ukrainian officials recently said it shot down multiple Russian Kinzhal missiles with the support of a US-made Patriot air defense system. Insider has not been able to independently verify the claim.
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously called the missiles “undefeatable.” Insider has reported that the vulnerability of their missiles is likely a surprise and embarrassment for Russia, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
Russia subsequently claimed it destroyed one Patriot air defense system in Kyiv, although Ukraine denies this.
—Fabian Hoffmann (@FRHoffmann1) May 17, 2023
Furthermore, Hoffmann believes Russia’s military position will only get worse because it has used all of the equipment in its arsenal, he told Sky.
“Russia also appears to have lost or is in the process of losing, its advantage in long-range strike capabilities. Russian missiles are intercepted en masse, while Ukraine has finally started to receive its own long-range strike capabilities with the British Storm Shadow.”
More broadly, given Ukraine’s recent successes in reclaiming territory, and their increased support from international allies, Russia has “never looked weaker in this war than right now” because its “winter offensive has failed abysmally,” the expert said.
After writing, “If I was a Russian nuclear strategist today, I would be very worried,” on Twitter on Tuesday, Hoffman later addressed and outlined some of the contentions surrounding the Russian missiles and Ukraine’s defense systems.
Even so, “Prior to the war, I would have expected such a multi-vector attack to end in a disaster for the defender, Patriot or not. The fact that Ukraine was able to defend this attack is amazing, in my opinion, whether the final interception rate is 90% or 100%,” he wrote.