RT: In a battle the place accusations of wrongdoing fly forwards and backwards between Russia and Ukraine each day, in terms of the missile assault on the Kramatorsk practice station that occurred at 10:30am on April 8, 2022, either side are in uncommon settlement – the missile used was a Tochka-U, a Soviet-era weapon identified within the West by its NATO reporting title because the SS-21 Scarab, and within the former Soviet republics that use the weapon by its GRAU designation, 9K79.
Past that one technical piece of data, nevertheless, any semblance of unanimity relating to the narrative surrounding how that missile got here to strike a bustling railway station, killing and wounding dozens of civilians desperately making an attempt to evacuate from japanese Ukraine in anticipation of a large-scale Russian offensive, collapses, with both sides blaming the opposite. Making this tragedy much more weird, the Russian phrases Za Detei – “for the youngsters” – had been hand-painted on the missile in white.
The Tochka made its look within the Soviet army in 1975. A single-stage, solid-fuel tactical ballistic missile, the Tochka was assembled on the Votkinsk Machine Constructing Plant earlier than being delivered to the Soviet Military, the place it was additional disseminated to the assorted items outfitted with the system. An improved model of the Tochka, often known as the Tochka-U (Uluchshenny, or “improved”) was launched in 1989; the enhancements included elevated vary and accuracy.
The Tochka-U operates as a easy inertially-guided ballistic missile. Merely put, the operators, working from a identified location, orient the launcher within the route of their goal, after which calculate the gap between the purpose of launch and level of impression. The solid-fuel engine of the Tochka-U burns for 28 seconds, that means that the vary of the missile isn’t decided by engine burn-time alone, however slightly the angle that the missile was launched – the extra vertical the missile at time of launch, the shorter its vary will likely be.
As a result of the missile burns to depletion, as soon as the engine shuts down, the missile will stop its pure ballistic trajectory, and as a substitute assume a near-vertical posture because it heads towards its goal. The warhead is launched at a chosen level above the goal. Within the case of the Kramatorsk assault, the Tochka-U was outfitted with the 9N123K cluster warhead, containing fifty submunitions, every of which has the impact of a single hand grenade when it comes to explosive and deadly impression.
The flight traits of the Tochka-U end in a particles sample which has the cluster munitions impacting on the bottom first, adopted by the depleted booster, which hits the earth far behind the impression of the warhead. This creates a tell-tale signature, so to talk, of the route from the place the missile was launched, which could be crudely calculated by taking pictures a reverse azimuth from the purpose of impression of the warhead via the booster.
It’s this bodily actuality which gives the primary actual clue as to who fired the Tochka-U that hit Kramatorsk.
The connection of the booster when it got here to earth, when assessed to the impression zone of the cluster munitions, gives a reverse azimuth which, even when factoring in a beneficiant margin of error for potential drift, factors to territory that was underneath the excusive management of the Ukrainian authorities, which implies that there’s little doubt that the missile that struck the Kramatorsk practice station was fired by a launcher underneath the operational management of the nineteenth Missile Brigade, Ukraine’s solely Tochka-U-equipped unit.
Extra particularly, a forensic analysis of the missile particles clearly exhibits that it was launched by the nineteenth Ukrainian Missile Brigade, primarily based close to Dobropolia, some 45 kilometers from Kramatorsk.
The nineteenth Missile Brigade is taken into account a strategic asset, that means that it responds on to the orders of the Ukrainian Floor Forces Command. In brief, if the missile was, because it seems, fired by the nineteenth Missile Brigade, it was doing so primarily based on orders given from excessive up the chain of command. The launch was no accident.