As many as 60% of Russia's missile strikes on Ukraine are failing to launch or don't explode on impact, US officials say

missile kharkiv
An unexploded tail section of a 300mm missile which appear to contain cluster bombs is embedded in the ground after shelling on the northern outskirts of Kharkiv, on March 21, 2022.Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images
  • Russia has used more than 1,100 missiles in Ukraine since its invasion last month, Reuters reported.

  • But missiles used by Russia are seeing failure rates as high as 60%, US officials said.

  • The officials were not able to provide Reuters with evidence of their assessment.

As many as 60% of Russia's missile strikes on Ukraine fail to launch or don't explode on impact, three US officials with knowledge of intelligence on the issue, told Reuters.

The Pentagon believes that Russia has launched more than 1,100 missiles since its full invasion of Ukraine just over a month ago, US officials told reporters this week, according to Reuters.

But the precision-guided missiles, including air-launched cruise missiles, fired by Russian forces are seeing failure rates as high as 60%, two of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. One official estimated the rate could be as high as 50%.

The officials said that the failure rate depended on the type of missile being launched and varied day-to-day. They did not say why the rate could be so high, nor did they provide Reuters with any evidence of their assessment.

Since the start of the conflict, images of Russian missiles and bombs lodged in Ukraine's streets and buildings have emerged online. Insider was unable to verify them.

Last week, Ukrainian forces captured 24 intact Russian missiles near the northwestern city of Hostomel and fired them back at Russian troops.

This tactic has been used before by Ukrainian forces, focusing on repairing damaged Russian equipment captured in the fighting and then sending them back into battle.

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