Unz Review ~> Scott Ritter: Kramatorsk Train Station Attack

The key to finding the perpetrator lies in this overlooked detail

SCOTT RITTER • APRIL 19, 2022

A fragment of a Tochka-U missile lies on the ground following an attack at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. © AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko

A fragment of a Tochka-U missile lies on the ground following an attack at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. © AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko

Kiev and its Western backers immediately blamed Russia for the incident, but a proper investigation is likely to disagree

In a conflict where accusations of wrongdoing fly back and forth between Russia and Ukraine on a daily basis, when it comes to the missile attack on the Kramatorsk train station that occurred at 10:30am on April 8, 2022, both sides are in rare agreement – the missile used was a Tochka-U, a Soviet-era weapon known in the West by its NATO reporting name as the SS-21 Scarab, and in the former Soviet republics that use the weapon by its GRAU designation, 9K79.

Beyond that one technical piece of information, however, any semblance of unanimity regarding the narrative surrounding how that missile came to strike a bustling railway station, killing and wounding dozens of civilians desperately trying to evacuate from eastern Ukraine in anticipation of a large-scale Russian offensive, collapses, with each side blaming the other. Making this tragedy even more bizarre, the Russian words Za Detei – “for the children” – had been hand-painted on the missile in white.

The Tochka made its appearance in the Soviet military in 1975. A single-stage, solid-fuel tactical ballistic missile, the Tochka was assembled at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant before being delivered to the Soviet Army, where it was further disseminated to the various units equipped with the system. An improved version of the Tochka, known as the Tochka-U (Uluchshenny, or “improved”) was introduced in 1989; the improvements included increased range and accuracy.

The Tochka-U operates as a simple inertially-guided ballistic missile. Simply put, the operators, working from a known location, orient the launcher in the direction of their target, and then calculate the distance between the point of launch and point of impact. The solid-fuel engine of the Tochka-U burns for 28 seconds, meaning that the range of the missile isn’t determined by engine burn-time alone, but rather the angle that the missile was launched – the more vertical the missile at time of launch, the shorter its range will be.

Because the missile burns to depletion, once the engine shuts down, the missile will cease its pure ballistic trajectory, and instead assume a near-vertical posture as it heads toward its target. The warhead is released at a designated point above the target. In the case of the Kramatorsk attack, the Tochka-U was equipped with the 9N123K cluster warhead, containing fifty submunitions, each of which has the effect of a single hand grenade in terms of explosive and lethal impact.

The flight characteristics of the Tochka-U result in a debris pattern which has the cluster munitions impacting on the ground first, followed by the depleted booster, which hits the earth some distance behind the impact of the warhead. This creates a tell-tale signature, so to speak, of the direction from where the missile was launched, which can be crudely calculated by shooting a reverse azimuth from the point of impact of the warhead through the booster.

It is this physical reality which provides the first real clue as to who fired the Tochka-U that hit Kramatorsk. 

CONTINUE

About michael burgwin

A child of the peace and antiWar movements, a Truther with self-diagnosed Opposition Defiance Disorder, formerly politically liberal tho now politically marooned, and Post-Doomer, on any issue, I trend to the conspiracy side, sort through the absurd, fantastical and insane, until I find firm ground usually located just the other side of the censorship firewall of propaganda and orthodoxy, dogma, and other either / or thinking.
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