Russian rockets are falling indiscriminately on Ukrainian cities

Featured in The Economist

War in Ukraine


There has been little sign of Russian drone reconnaissance in the last six days of the Ukraine war. And even with such sophisticated methods, Russia’s targeting principles are “very different” from those of nato countries, says Sam Cranny-Evans of the Royal United Services Institute, a think-tank in London. Western armed forces, he says, typically need two to three “positive identifications” of a target before it can be struck. “We can’t say the same of the Russians.” On March 1st Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, warned that Mr Putin’s instinct would be to “Grozny-fy” Kyiv. Indeed Russia’s recent strikes in Kharkiv and other cities show little sign of any effort to identify enemy forces at all. “It's hard to square the use of cluster munitions in a city, where there are no military targets in that area,” says Mr Cranny-Evans, “with anything other than trying to inflict terror.”