Ukraine claims to have shot down a volley of Russian “hypersonic missiles”.

  • Ukraine has announced that it has hit the barrier of Russian “hypersonic” missiles.
  • This is a first for Kiev, which says it has never shot down an entire volley of this type of missile.
  • This happened when Ukraine retook the territory outside of Bakhmut.

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had shot down six Russian Kinzhal missiles overnight, disabling a weapon that Moscow touts as a next-generation hypersonic missile that was uniquely unstoppable.

It was the first time Ukraine claimed to have shot down a barrage of multiple Kinzhal missiles and, if confirmed, would be a demonstration of the effectiveness of Kiev’s newly deployed Western air defenses.

Early Tuesday morning, air raid sirens sounded across almost all of Ukraine and echoed over the Ukrainian capital and surrounding areas for more than three hours.

“The adversary’s mission is to sow panic and create chaos. However, in the northern operational zone (including Kiev), everything is under complete control,” said the commander of the combined forces of the Armed Forces, General Serkhi Naev.

The Six Daggers were among a volley of 18 missiles that Russia fired over Ukraine overnight, lighting up Kiev in flashes and raining debris after they burst from the sky.

However, Moscow denied that Kyiv’s air defense shot down the missiles.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said in an interview with the state news agency “Ria Novosti”.

It was unclear which western weapon Ukraine used to defeat the Daggers. The Pentagon has yet to comment.

In turn, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it destroyed the Patriot ground-based anti-missile defense system created by the United States with the “Kinzhal” missile, “Zvezda” military media reports.

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However, Valery Zaluzhny, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that all were successfully detained.

Kyiv authorities said three people were injured by falling debris.

“It was exceptional in its density, the maximum number of strike missiles in the shortest period of time,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, said on Telegram.

Zvezda, citing the Russian Ministry, reported that the attacks were aimed at Ukrainian combat units and ammunition storage facilities.

Zalujni said his forces intercepted six Daggers launched from an aircraft, as well as nine Kalibr cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-launched Iskanders.

Earlier this month, Ukraine announced that it shot down a Kinzhal missile over Kiev for the first time using the new US Patriot air defense system.

Ukrainian soldiers on an armored car near Liman.


The US military confirmed this information, but did not specify whether the Russian missile was flying at hypersonic speed at the time of interception.

The US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) says the Kinzhal 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 the speed of sound.

“It should be noted that Russia’s designation of the Kinzhal as a ‘hypersonic’ missile is somewhat misleading, as nearly all ballistic missiles reach hypersonic speeds at some point in their flight,” CSIS wrote on its website, describing the rocket.

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The Kinzhal missile, whose name means dagger, can carry conventional or nuclear warheads up to 2,000 km. Russia first used the weapon in the war in Ukraine last year and has only admitted to firing missiles a few times.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has often touted the Kinzhal as proof that Russian military equipment capable of striking NATO is beating the world.

As Ukrainian forces prepare to counter the Russian invasion for the first time in six months, Moscow is now launching long-range airstrikes with the highest frequency of the war.

It has launched eight drone and missile volleys this month, compared with a week in winter and a lull in March and April. Kiev says it fired the most.

Last week, Ukrainian forces made their biggest gains on the battlefield since last November, recapturing several square kilometers on the northern and southern outskirts of the battleground town of Bakhmut.

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Moscow has admitted that some of its troops have withdrawn, but denies that its battle lines are collapsing.

Kiev says the advances are localized and do not yet represent the full force of its upcoming counteroffensive, which is expected to use hundreds of modern tanks and armored vehicles sent by the West this year.

The Ukrainian counter-offensive would usher in the next major phase of the war after a massive Russian winter offensive failed to capture significant new territory despite the bloodiest ground fighting in Europe since World War II.

Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year and now claims to have annexed about a sixth of its neighbor’s territory. Ukraine pushed back Russian troops from the suburbs of Kiev at the start of the war and retook territory in two counter-offensives in the second half of 2022, but has kept its forces on the defensive since November.

Russia says its invasion was necessary to counter a threat to its security due to Kiev’s close ties to the West. Ukraine and its allies call it an unprovoked and illegal war of conquest, and Kiev says it will not stop fighting until all Russian troops leave its soil.

– Additional reporting by AFP

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect Russia’s denial.

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