“Russia will continue to conduct strikes against Ukraine at scale in an effort to degrade Ukrainian morale and Ukraine’s ability to sustain its war effort against Russia,” a daily report by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said late on Friday.
However the analysts noted that after almost two years of war, Russia’s reserves and production capacities mean that it is unlikely to be able to launch large-scale missile attacks on a regular basis, but will be able to do so more consistently with drones.
In the heaviest attack to date since the start of the war, Russia’s military fired close to 160 rockets, cruise missiles and drones of various types at Ukraine on Friday, according to figures from Kiev officials.
Several dozen people were killed and around 160 injured in several regions of Ukraine shortly before the New Year celebrations in what Ukrainian leadership described as terrorism targeting the civilian population.
According to an ISW analysis, the Russians had been experimenting for months with various combinations of drones and missiles in order to identify weaknesses in the Ukrainian air defence system.
Ukraine again reported Russian drone attacks on Friday night. According to the military, three unmanned missiles were intercepted in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. The Ukrainian air defence was able to shoot down five of a total of 10 Russian drones across the country, officials said.