Ukraine says it shot down volley of Russian ‘hypersonic’ missiles

kyiv: Ukraine announced on Tuesday that it had killed six Russian Kinzhal missiles in a single night, thwarting a weapon Moscow touted as a next-generation hypersonic missile that was virtually unstoppable.
Asked about the Ukrainian claim, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu rejected it, the RIA news agency reported. His ministry said a Kinzhal destroyed a US-built Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system.
“A high-precision strike from the Kinzhal hypersonic missile hit an American-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system in the city of Kiev,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Two U.S. officials said a Patriot system was likely damaged but not destroyed, and one said discussions about repairing it were ongoing and it didn’t appear the system should be removed from Ukraine.
Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi earlier said his forces intercepted all six Kinzhals launched from aircraft, as well as nine Kalibr cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three Iskanders fired from land.
Russian Shoigu reportedly said the number of claimed Ukrainian missile interceptions is in general “three times the number we launch”.
“And they get the type of missiles wrong all the time. That’s why they don’t hit them,” he said, without giving further details.
It was the first time Ukraine claimed to have struck an entire volley of multiple Kinzhal missiles, and if confirmed, it would be a demonstration of the effectiveness of its newly deployed western air defenses.
The United States and the European Union have supplied Ukraine with weapons to defend itself since the Russian invasion in February 2022.
EU and NATO member Hungary, however, refused to provide military hardware to neighboring Ukraine, and on Tuesday the government said it had blocked the next tranche of off-budget military support from the EU. EU known as the European Peace Facility.
Air raid sirens sounded across much of Ukraine early Tuesday and were heard over the Ukrainian capital and surrounding region for more than three hours.
“A year ago, we weren’t able to shoot down most of the terrorists’ missiles, especially ballistic missiles,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an address to the Council’s human rights body. Europe in Iceland via video link.
“And I ask one thing now. If we are able to do this, is there anything we cannot do?
The two-day meeting of European leaders was to focus on ways to hold Russia accountable for its war, officials said.
Russia says its invasion was necessary to counter threats to its security posed by Ukraine’s growing ties to the West.
Ukraine and its allies call it an unprovoked war of conquest and Ukraine says it won’t stop fighting until all Russian forces leave its territory.
Flashes of light and debris
The six Kinzhals were among 27 missiles Russia fired at Ukraine in 24 hours, Ukraine’s military said in its evening update on Tuesday, illuminating Kiev with lightning and raining debris after being blasted from the sky.
It was unclear what western weapon Ukraine used to defend against the Kinzhals. The Pentagon had no immediate comment.
For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said its forces carried out a concentrated strike with high-precision, long-range air and sea weapons against Ukrainian forces, “as well as on the places of ammunition storage, weapons and military equipment delivered from the west”. countries”.
Kyiv authorities said three people were injured by falling debris.
“It was exceptional in its density – the maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time,” Serhiy Popko, head of the city’s military administration, said on Telegram.
The Ukrainian military said two S-300 missiles also targeted infrastructure in Kostyantynivka, west of the besieged eastern town of Bakhmut.
Hypersonic speed?
This month, Ukraine said it had shot down a single Kinzhal missile over kyiv for the first time using a newly deployed Patriot system.
The US military confirmed this, but did not say whether the Russian missile was flying at hypersonic speeds at the time.
The US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) says the Kinzhal rapidly accelerates to Mach 4 (4,900 km/h) after launch and can reach speeds of up to Mach 10, or 10 times the speed of sound. Hypersonic weapons travel at least five times faster than sound.
The Kinzhal missile, whose name means dagger, can carry conventional or nuclear warheads up to 2,000 km. Russia used the weapon in the war for the first time in Ukraine last year and has only admitted firing it a few times.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has often touted the Kinzhal as proof of world-class Russian hardware capable of taking on NATO.
As Ukraine prepares to go on the offensive against the Russian invasion for the first time in six months, Russian forces are launching longer-range airstrikes at the highest frequency in the war.
Ukraine says it shoots down most missiles and drones.


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