Ukraine announced that it successfully intercepted and neutralized six Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in a single night, effectively countering a weapon previously considered by Russia as an invincible next-generation hypersonic missile.
Early hours of Tuesday morning, Kyiv’s night skies were illuminated by a series of consecutive bright flashes, marking an unprecedented aerial attack launched by Russia against the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
A total of 18 missiles of various types were fired at the city, and among them were the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. Russia has refuted claims that their Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were intercepted, instead asserting that one of them successfully destroyed a Patriot air defence system provided by the United States.
In recent weeks, Russia has escalated its air campaign, conducting a series of airstrikes on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. This month alone, the city has been bombarded eight times, indicating an intensification of Russian military activity in anticipation of a potential offensive by Ukraine.
Previously, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, announced that Ukrainian forces had successfully intercepted six Kinzhal missiles launched from aircraft, as well as nine Kalibr cruise missiles launched from ships in the Black Sea, and three Iskander missiles fired from land.
In a significant development earlier this month, Ukraine reported the successful interception of a single Kinzhal hypersonic missile over Kyiv, marking the first time they had utilized a newly deployed US Patriot air defence system for this purpose.
Zelenskiy’s Response to Hypersonic Missiles
During a rapid diplomatic tour of European allies and the United States, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has received commitments of substantial military aid amounting to billions of dollars. This development underscores a notable transformation in the political landscape.
Ukraine has recently acquired a minimum of two Patriot missile defence systems, with one being provided by Germany and another by the United States. This acquisition significantly enhances Ukraine’s capabilities to intercept advanced Russian missiles like the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
The Ukrainian capital experienced what Klitschko described as the most substantial drone attack launched by Russia. A total of 36 Iranian-made Shahed drones were fired upon the city. Fortunately, all 36 drones were successfully intercepted, resulting in minimal damage from falling debris, as confirmed by an official statement.
During his video conference address to the Council of Europe rights body in Iceland, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reflected on the progress made over the past year. He highlighted that previously, the capability to intercept a majority of the terrorists’ missiles, particularly ballistic ones, was lacking.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently emphasized the Kinzhal as a demonstration of Russia’s superior military technology, emphasizing its ability to confront NATO forces.
Russia maintains its stance that the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, boasting speeds exceeding 11,000km/h (7,000mp/h), remain impervious to any air defence systems deployed worldwide.
If Ukraine’s assertions hold, Moscow will likely be disappointed that its most advanced missiles are now vulnerable to interception. The recent introduction of the modern Patriot defence system has played a crucial role in this development.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread casualties among both civilians and combatants, extensive destruction of urban areas, and a staggering number of refugees. As per the UN’s refugee agency, 8.2 million Ukrainians have sought refuge in Europe, with 2.8 million finding shelter in Russia.
Also read: [https://www.aljazeera.com/tag/ukraine-russia-crisis/]