Putin’s Missile War

Russia’s Strike Campaign in Ukraine

Russia’s missile campaign against Ukraine has severely underperformed expectations. In the invasion’s early days, Russia underestimated the necessary scale and effort of its missile campaign. Since then, Russia has changed course multiple times, most recently moving to target Ukrainian electrical grid and civilian infrastructure during the winter months. Russia’s haphazard missile campaign reflects both internal strategic failures and Ukraine’s critical forward thinking in the days prior to the invasion. Early Russian failures also gave time for Ukraine to develop its air defense strategy and capabilities which have only grown in effectiveness, thanks in large part to Western aid. This report provides an in-depth review of these and related “missile war” dynamics.   

This report is made possible by general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report.

Ian Williams

Ian Williams

Former Fellow, International Security Program and Deputy Director, Missile Defense Project