War in Ukraine

Russia Shelled Ukrainian Frontline Cities and Towns More Than 8,000 Times in Just 4 Months

Frontline Cities

Despite Putin’s constant talk of “negotiations,” Russian shelling of Ukrainian cities has only intensified.

The Russian army continues to put pressure on Ukraine along the entire front line, using all possible types of weapons. In May 2024, Russia opened a new offensive in the Kharkiv region. Given this, it is critically important for Ukraine to be able to strike targets directly on Russian territory to eliminate the enemy's ability to launch attacks—including against civilians—from its own soil.

For this report, we requested statistics on shelling from the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine. We requested information on the shelling of frontline regions of Ukraine from March 1, 2024, to July 1, 2024 (4 months). Mass shelling of Kharkiv began in early March, so this date was chosen as the starting point. Eight regions were included in the sample: Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Chernihiv regions.

During the selected period, 606 civilians were killed, and another 2,506 were injured.

In total, over the past four months, Russia has shelled Ukrainian frontline cities 8,399 times. It shelled regional centers 401 times, the rest were other cities and villages along the front line. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Sumy region: 4,526 shellings, including 14 targeting the regional center.

  • Kherson region: 1,796 shellings, including 265 targeting the regional center.

  • Kharkiv region: 880 shellings, including 94 targeting the regional center.

  • Donetsk region: 631 shellings of settlements.

  • Zaporizhzhia region: 430 shellings, including 18 targeting the regional center.

  • Chernihiv region: 64 shellings, including 1 targeting the regional center.

  • Odesa region: 56 shellings, including 19 targeting the regional center.

  • Luhansk region: 16 shellings of settlements.

This report only includes shellings affecting civilian life and does not account for shellings of Ukrainian military positions. During these attacks, the Russians destroyed 7,408 civilian objects, including housing and infrastructure, particularly energy facilities. In Kharkiv, almost all energy generation was destroyed.

For shelling, the Russians use a full range of means: Kh-101, Kh-22, Kh-35, Kh-59, Kh-69, Kh-47M2, 3M22 Zircon, Iskander-M, Kalibr (3P14, 3M14), Grom E1, missiles from the S-400 and S-300 air defense systems, UMPB D-30, FAB-500 with UMPK, NURS, KAB, Shahed-type UAVs, ZALA Lancet-type UAVs, FPV drones, Iskander-K type missiles, barrel and rocket artillery.

Air defense and attacks on Russian territory

As can be seen, the Sumy region has suffered the most, mainly due to its direct border with the Russian Federation. Another important factor is the significant use of missiles launched by Russian aviation. Therefore, two elements are critically important for Ukraine:

  1. Strengthening air defense.

  2. The ability to strike within Russian territory.

In recent months, Russian aviation began attacking Ukraine with FAB and KAB aerial bombs. These are difficult to intercept in the air, so it's necessary to destroy the aircraft launching them. Having air defense systems will push enemy aviation away from the front line. In addition, having the ability to strike with ATACMS or Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles on Russian territory will allow Ukraine to destroy the airfields where Russian fighter jets are based. We detailed this in a previous report.

As of today, these are the two most effective ways to counter Russian shelling.

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