Russia's artillery war on Ukraine: Grads, Smerches and cruise missiles in action

Type of missile used by the Russian army during a bombing in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Type of missile used by the Russian army during a bombing in Kharkiv, Ukraine. © Observateurs

The Observers team has been following the war in Ukraine closely via open sources to document what is happening on the ground. To find out more about the rockets, bombs and missiles used by the Russian army, we spoke to Mark Cancian, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC.


According to Mark Cancian, the Russian army failed in their first attempt of rapid warfare in Ukraine, so they turned to bombing instead.

The Russians have a variety of cruise missiles. I think that they are using some of them, but the belief is that they're holding a lot of those back. Those are typically precision-guided and can strike specific targets.

However, Mark Cancian added that Russia is playing a dangerous game by using certain weapons:

A couple of things have received a lot of attention. The first, of course, cluster munitions. These are basically bomblets that are distributed by artillery. They'll spread over a wide area. When they're used near civilians, they can cause a lot of civilian casualties, because of the way they spread out their effects. All of these are intended for military targets. Using these weapons against civilians is illegal. But because they are unguided, they will explode in the vicinity of the target and endanger civilians.

Watch his full analysis in the video above.