Video | The difference between a missile and a rocket, and other questions about the weapons used in Ukraine

A retired Spanish general with experience of Russian arms analyzes some of the military artifacts that can be seen in the images from the war

A still from a video of a missile striking a residential building in Kyiv last Saturday.Photo: VITALIY KLITSCHKO / AFP | Video: EPV

General Esteban Verástegui, who retired in 2007, explains that he knows Soviet weaponry well because, in his day, they were “the enemy.” He adds: “For any member of the military, the first thing they have to know is what they are going to have to fight.” What’s more, when he was stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he became familiar with Ukrainian helicopters. “The Ilyushin, the Antonov,” he recites from memory.

At the end of his military career, he was the European Union mission chief in Guinea-Bissau. His experience draws him to a conclusion about Moscow’s strategy. “It’s quite smart, not spending a single unnecessary ruble on war material,” he explains, adding that the lack of sophistication of Russia’s resources means that they “withstand negative conditions better than others that are more sophisticated.”

From his point of view, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has one particular factor. “It’s a confrontation with materials that have a similar origin.” He believes that the letters painted on Russian vehicles could be serving to avoid friendly fire.

In this video, the general also explains other images from the invasion, such as those recorded by a resident of Bucha, Ukraine, after combat in the streets, the difference between a missile and a rocket, the characteristics of some of the helicopters that have been recorded in the midst of an attack, and the danger that some citizens are exposed to when they approach military artifacts in the street.