How many conventional missiles does Russia have? Is Russia running out of missiles?
More than 600 missiles have been used by Russian forces in the invasion of Ukraine. Is the military running out? How many did they start with?
On Wednesday 9 March, reports of a maternity and children's hospital in Mariupol being bombed became the latest flagrant disregard of international law by the Russian military as it continues its invasion of Ukraine.
In response world leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have responded saying "There are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless,” adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held “to account for his terrible crimes”.
How many missiles have the Russians launched since the invasion began?
CNN reported on 9 March, that more than 700 missiles had been launched by Russia since the invasion began. This number has continued to rise in recent days.
According to the Federation of American Scientist, Russia has around 1,500 war heads that are ready to be deployed. Warheads are not missiles. Rather they are the toxic or nuclear material that can be attached to a missile. The Kremlin also has around 2,900 war heads sitting in reserves that they could draw upon in the case those on hand run out. These figures are down significantly from the late 1980s when the country was thought to have around 40,000 warheads in their arsenal.
While the number of missiles launched can be tracked to some extent, running an analysis on scarcity within the Russian war chest is hard because there are very few ways to confirm if the information is correct. Russia could have weapons stashed away that they have not reported to international organizations which makes this type of analysis incredibly challenging.
What would a 'no fly zone' mean for NATO and Ukraine?
President Zelenskyy has continued his plea to NATO countries to "close the sky" to avoid the continued air assault by the Russian military.
This would amount to a 'no fly zone' which the United States and many allies see as a non-starter as it would require NATO countries to shoot Russian planes out of the sky should they be identified. If this is a move that Russia would see as a direct attack and the direct involvement of NATO in the conflict, making member countries targets for Russian attacks.
While NATO countries have made it clear that a 'no-fly zone' would not be implemented or enforced, some members had considered transferring fighter jets to the Ukrainian air force. Poland is one of the only countries that has jets that Ukrainian pilots are trained to use but the country, and many others, are worried that the transfer could provoke a response from Russia. The Polish government had proposed a plan that would involve the sending of twenty-eight jets to a US air force base d in Germany for transfer. The plan was flatly rejected by the Untied States who says its involvement in such a transfer is too "high-risk" and that it would be seen a s serious escalation by President Putin.
How much will it cost to rebuild Ukraine's infrastructure?
In a video statement made last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tried to reassure his people saying, "We will restore every house, every street, every city and we say to Russia: learn the word of reparations and contributions. You will reimburse us for everything you did against our state, against every Ukrainian in full."
If Russia succeeds in its mission of taking control of the country, it may be difficult to begin the post-war rebuilding process considering the state of both country's economy. Should Ukrainian forces be able to push back and take back territory ceased by the Russians, many European countries and the United States would stand ready to support the Ukraine in its rebuilding effort. At this point it is too soon to determine a plan because the war is hardly over and the amount of damage done is expected to increase.