Kyiv says it shoots down volley of Russian hypersonic missiles

  • First time Kyiv claims to shoot down a number of Kinzhals
  • Putin touted the nuclear-capable missile as world beater
  • Ukraine girding for large counteroffensive towards invasion
  • Europe meets on methods to carry Russia to account for battle

KYIV, May 16 (Reuters) – Ukraine mentioned on Tuesday it had shot down six Russian Kinzhal missiles in a single evening, thwarting a weapon Moscow has touted as a next-generation hypersonic missile that was all however unstoppable.

It was the primary time Ukraine had claimed to have struck a complete volley of a number of Kinzhal missiles, and if confirmed can be an illustration of the effectiveness of Kyiv’s newly deployed Western air defences.

Air raid sirens blared throughout practically all of Ukraine early on Tuesday and had been heard over the Ukrainian capital and the encompassing area for greater than three hours.

“The enemy’s mission is to sow panic and create chaos. However, in the northern operational zone (including Kyiv), everything is under complete control,” General Serhiy Naev, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces, mentioned.

The six Kinzhals had been amongst 27 missiles Russia fired at Ukraine over the previous 24 hours, Ukraine’s army General Staff mentioned in its night replace on Tuesday, lighting up Kyiv with flashes and raining particles after they had been blasted from the sky.

It was not clear which Western weapon Ukraine used to defeat the Kinzhals. The Pentagon had no fast remark.

For its half, Russia’s defence ministry claimed to have destroyed a U.S.-built Patriot surface-to-air missile defence system with a Kinzhal missile, the Zvezda army information outlet reported.

But the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, mentioned all had been efficiently intercepted.

Kyiv authorities mentioned three individuals had been wounded by falling particles.

“It was exceptional in its density – the maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time,” Serhiy Popko, head of Kyiv’s metropolis army administration, mentioned on Telegram.

Zvezda quoted the Russian ministry as saying the assaults had been geared toward Ukrainian preventing models and ammunition storage websites.

Zaluzhnyi mentioned his forces had intercepted the six Kinzhals launched from plane, in addition to 9 Kalibr cruise missiles from ships within the Black Sea and three Iskanders fired from land.

Two S-300 missiles focused infrastructure in Kostyantynivka, west of the embattled japanese metropolis of Bakhmut, the General Staff replace mentioned.


Earlier this month, Ukraine claimed to have shot down a single Kinzhal missile over Kyiv for the primary time utilizing a newly deployed U.S. Patriot air defence system.

The U.S. army confirmed that account however didn’t say whether or not the Russian missile was flying at hypersonic velocity on the time of the intercept.

The U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) says the Kinzhal quickly accelerates to Mach 4 (4,900 kms/h) after launch and should attain speeds of as much as Mach 10 – or 10 occasions the velocity of sound. Hypersonic weapons journey at the very least 5 occasions the velocity of sound.

The Kinzhal missile, whose identify means dagger, can carry standard or nuclear warheads as much as 2,000 kms. Russia used the weapon in warfare for the primary time in Ukraine final 12 months and has solely acknowledged firing the missiles on a couple of events.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has frequently touted the Kinzhal as proof of world-beating Russian army {hardware}, succesful of taking up NATO.

With Ukraine set to go on the offensive towards Russia’s invasion for the primary time in six months, Moscow is launching longer-range air strikes on the highest frequency of the battle. Kyiv says it is taking pictures down most incoming missiles and drones.


Ukrainian troops have reclaimed about 20 sq. kms (7.5 sq. miles) of land round Bakhmut in current days however Russian forces had superior barely within the metropolis itself, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar mentioned on Tuesday.

The epicentre of floor preventing remained Bakhmut and Maryinka simply to its south, the General Staff replace mentioned, although Russian shelling of three cities within the northeast Kharkiv area had left some lifeless and wounded.

Kyiv has harassed that any beneficial properties round Bakhmut aren’t half of a broader counteroffensive. Moscow has acknowledged that some of its troops have retreated however denies that its battle traces are crumbling.

Kyiv’s counteroffensive is anticipated to take benefit of tons of of fashionable tanks and armoured autos despatched by the West, and mark the subsequent main part of the battle after a Russian winter offensive that did not take vital new territory.

Moscow mounted its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February final 12 months and now claims to have annexed round a sixth of its neighbour’s territory. Ukraine turned again Russian troops from the outskirts of Kyiv early within the battle and recaptured territory in two counteroffensives within the second half of 2022, however has saved its forces on the defensive since November.

Russia says its invasion was essential to counter threats to its safety posed by Ukraine’s rising ties to the West. Kyiv and its allies name it an unprovoked battle of conquest. Kyiv says it will not cease preventing till all Russian forces go away its land.

On the diplomatic entrance, European leaders started a two-day summit in Iceland on Tuesday to deal with methods to carry Russia to account for its battle. They are anticipated to approve a brand new Register of Damages that may report and doc proof and claims of injury, loss or damage incurred because of this of the invasion.

Reporting by Gleb Garanich and Sergiy Karazy in Kyiv;
Writing Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Christopher Cushing

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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