On Tuesday (16 May), Ukraine reported that six Russian Kinzhal missiles were shot down in a single night. The weapon, which Moscow claimed was a hypersonic rocket of the future generation that was virtually unstoppable, has been thwarted.
Sergei Shoigu was reported by RIA as having dismissed the Ukrainian claim. According to the ministry, a Kinzhal missile destroyed an American Patriot surface-to-air missile defence system.
The ministry of defence released a press release stating that an ultrasonic Kinzhal missile had struck a Patriot anti-aircraft missile system manufactured in the United States at Kyiv.
Two US officials confirmed a system had suffered some damage but was not destroyed. A US official confirmed that discussions are underway to repair the Patriot Missile Defense System in Ukraine. It appears as though it won’t need to be removed.
Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said earlier that his forces had intercepted six Kinzhals and nine Kalibr cruise missiles fired from ships in the Black Sea.
Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, has been quoted as saying that the number claimed by Ukraine of missile interceptions in general is “three times greater than the number launched”.
“And they are always getting the wrong kind of missiles.” He stated without explanation that they don’t hit them because of this.
It was the first time that Ukraine claimed to have fired a volley of Kinzhal missiles. This would be a confirmation of the effectiveness and recent deployment of Western air defences.
Since the Russian invasion of February 2022, both the United States and the European Union have given Ukraine weapons to defend itself.
Hungary, a NATO and EU member, refused to supply military equipment to Ukraine’s neighbor. However, on Tuesday, the government announced it had blocked funding for the next tranche off-budget EU support known as the European Peace Facility.
Air raid sirens could be heard early on Tuesday in almost the whole of Ukraine. Air raid sirens were heard in the Ukrainian capital and surrounding areas for more than three hours.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of the Russian Federation, said in a video message to the Council of Europe Rights Body in Iceland that “we weren’t able a year ago to shoot most of the terrorists’ missiles. Especially the ballistic ones”.
Now I have a question. “Is there anything we can’t do?”
Officials stated that the meeting of European Leaders was centered on ways to hold Russia responsible for its war.
Russia says its invasion was necessary to counteract the threat that Ukraine’s growing connections with the West poses to its security.
Ukraine and its allies called it an unprovoked war of conquest. Ukraine said that it would not stop fighting until Russian troops leave its territory.
Flashes and debris
Ukraine’s evening report Tuesday stated that the six Kinzhal rockets were among 27 Russian missiles launched against Ukraine within 24 hours. After being launched, they lit up Kyiv with their light and dumped debris on the city.
Weaponry used by Ukraine in its defense against Kinzhals is not known. The Pentagon has not yet commented on the situation.
The Russian Defence Ministry stated that their forces launched a concentrated air and naval attack using high precision long range weapons against Ukrainian forces, “as well as at storage sites for ammunition, weapons and military equipment imported by Western countries”.
Kyiv authorities have reported that three people have been injured by falling debris.
Serhiy Poko, head of the military administration in the city, told Telegram the attack missiles had “exceptional density” — they were the most in the shortest amount of time.
The Ukrainian military confirmed that two S-300 missiles were also fired at infrastructure in Kostyantynivka, west of Bakhmut – a city embroiled with conflict.
What is HYPERSONIC?
Ukraine has shot down the first Kinzhal missile using its newly installed Patriot system.
The US Military confirmed that the Russian missile was flying at hypersonic speed at the time, but did not specify this.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies in the United States, CSIS, claims that the Kinzhal can accelerate to Mach 10 (10 times faster than sound) after launch and will reach speeds of up to Mach 4. Hypersonic weapons can travel at least five-times the speed of sound.
The Kinzhal – whose name is dagger – can carry nuclear or conventional weapons for up to 2000 kilometers. It was first used in the war in Ukraine last year. Russia has admitted that it only fired the weapon on a few occasions.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the Kinzhal many times as a piece Russian military equipment capable of competing against NATO.
Russian airstrikes have increased in frequency as Ukraine prepares for its first offensive against Russia since six months.
Ukraine claims that it has shot down most missiles and drones.
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