Russia fired North Korean-made KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles on Ukraine

Ukraine’s Attorney General, Andriy Kostin, has revealed that Russian Armed Forces used at least 24 North Korean-made ballistic missiles during missile strikes on Ukrainian territory.

Kostin said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that these missiles, suspected to be produced in North Korea, were used in Russian missile attacks across seven regions of Ukraine between December 30, 2023, and February 7, 2024.

The affected regions include Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv (three attacks), Kharkiv (two attacks), as well as cities and villages in the Kirovohrad, Poltava, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk regions. These attacks resulted in the deaths of 14 civilians, with over 70 others sustaining injuries.

The most significant attack with these missiles was documented on February 7, where three cities—Kyiv (hit by one missile near Bucha), Pavlohrad, and Kharkiv (hit by two missiles each)—were targeted simultaneously. No confirmed hits on potential targets were recorded in these instances.

Kostin noted that based on preliminary analysis, these missiles carry warheads ranging from 500 to 1000 kg in TNT equivalent, with a maximum launch range of up to 650 km. The strikes were reportedly launched from the Voronezh region in Russia.

Regarding the accuracy of these missiles, Kostin expressed doubts, citing that out of the 24 missiles fired, only two hits were relatively accurate—targeting the Kremenchuk Oil Refinery and the technical area of the Kanatove airport. The remaining missiles either landed several kilometers apart or detonated in the air, causing damage to residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv.

Specifications of the KN-23, KN-24 and KN-25

Although both Russia and North Korea deny allegations of supplying ballistic missiles for use in Ukraine, the United States Department of State has identified companies and individuals involved in transporting North Korean ballistic missiles and imposed sanctions on them in late November 2023.

Furthermore, the State Department has accused North Korea of violating the UN arms embargo, with South Korea’s representative to the UN Security Council stating that North Korea is using Ukraine as a testing ground for its missiles.

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