Russia seems to have focused considered one of two US Patriot anti-missile defence programs just lately obtained by Ukraine throughout an unprecedented barrage of projectiles that rained down on Kyiv early on Tuesday.
A US official mentioned some missiles had been directed on the Patriot system and that Washington was making an attempt to evaluate the affect. The system’s radars have been nonetheless working and in a position to monitor incoming missiles and intercept them, the official mentioned. It was attainable that the Patriot system had been broken, they added.
Earlier within the day, Moscow claimed that considered one of its ballistic missiles had succeeded in destroying considered one of Ukraine’s Patriot programs. Kyiv categorically denied the declare and mentioned it efficiently shot down all 18 Russian missiles.
The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Common Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, mentioned all 18 projectiles, together with six hypersonic Kinzhals and 9 Kalibr cruise missiles, had been downed in a single day. The newest air strikes, which come greater than a 12 months into Russia’s faltering full-scale invasion, triggered at the very least a dozen loud explosions in Kyiv at round 3am.
“It was distinctive in its density — the utmost variety of assault missiles within the shortest time period,” mentioned Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s metropolis navy administration.
Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s defence ministry spokesperson, claimed on Tuesday that one of many Kinzhals took out a Patriot missile battery in Kyiv, suggesting its assault was geared toward overwhelming and taking down Ukraine’s just lately obtained western defence programs. Russia additionally mentioned it had shot down seven UK-supplied Storm Shadow long-range missiles, with out offering any additional proof.
Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister, mentioned Russia’s claims have been “pure propaganda and pure lies”.
Earlier this month, Kyiv mentioned considered one of two just lately delivered US Patriot air defence items had for the primary time downed a Russian Kinzhal ballistic missile, displaying a capability Ukraine had beforehand not possessed.
The strikes got here hours after Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accomplished a three-day tour in Europe, the place he met senior officers within the UK, Germany, France and Italy, who pledged further western weaponry, together with air defence programs forward of a extensively anticipated counter-offensive.
“The principle outcomes of today are new weapons for Ukraine,” Zelenskyy mentioned in a video handle late on Monday. “Our victory has been introduced nearer.”
Ukraine’s armed forces have but to launch a marketing campaign geared toward liberating extra of japanese and southern areas the place Russia occupies almost a fifth of state territory. Zelenskyy’s pleas for added air defences in addition to western fighter jets, materiel not but equipped, are geared toward offering higher cowl for floor troops.
The 2 Patriots have added one other layer to Ukraine’s air defences, which have been struggling to cope with a few of Russia’s extra superior missiles, such because the Kinzhal. On high of Ukraine’s Soviet-era air defence programs, western allies have additionally equipped Nasam programs and a cutting-edge Iris-T air defence unit from Germany, each of which have a extra restricted vary than Patriots.
Individually, Russian media on Tuesday mentioned 5 border guards have been wounded in a Ukrainian drone strike on a border management centre within the Kursk area on Monday night. All 5 have been hospitalised in a steady situation with shrapnel wounds, based on Baza and Mash, channels on the social media app Telegram with ties to Russian safety providers.