The report of the British Ministry of Defence noted on November 25, 2022, that Russia was probably removing nuclear warheads from obsolete nuclear cruise missiles and firing these missiles at Ukraine without a warhead. The purpose of these actions is to distract the air defence system of Ukraine.
Source: The British Ministry of Defence
“Russia is likely removing the nuclear warheads from ageing nuclear cruise missiles and firing the unarmed munitions at Ukraine. Open source imagery shows the wreckage of an apparently shot-down AS-15 KENT air launched cruise missile (ALCM), designed in the 1980s exclusively as a nuclear delivery system. The warhead had probably been substituted for ballast,” noted the British Intelligence.
According to the British Ministry of Defence, although such an inert system can cause some destruction due to the missile’s kinetic energy and unspent fuel, but is unlikely to be able to provide reliable damage to specified targets.
“Russia almost certainly hopes such missiles will function as decoys and divert Ukrainian air defences. Whatever Russia’s intent, this improvisation highlights the level of depletion in Russia’s stock of long-range missiles,” concluded the British Intelligence.