HomeWorldUkraine shoots down Russian hypersonic missile with US Patriot system

Ukraine shoots down Russian hypersonic missile with US Patriot system


Related stories

Shark attack kills Russian citizen in Egyptian Red Sea

Illustrative image of a tiger shark. (Albert Kok,...

Ukraine breaks the stalemate on the battlefield: start of the counter-offensive?

Ukrainian soldiers deploy an APC on the front line...

US sanctions against Russian agents linked to the Moldovan-Israeli oligarch

Ilan Shor at a press conference on February 25,...

Rescue work ended after rail disaster in India that claimed more than 300 lives

Workers at the scene of a deadly train derailment...

The Ukrainian Air Force has announced that it shot down a Russian hypersonic missile over Kiev using recently purchased US Patriot defense systems. This event marks the first time Ukraine has intercepted one of Moscow’s most modern missiles.


Interception of Kinzhal missiles

Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the Ukrainian air force, reported via Telegram that a Kinzhal-type ballistic missile was intercepted during a nighttime attack in the Ukrainian capital earlier this week. This interception also marks the first time that Patriot defense systems have been used in Ukraine.

Oleshchuk noted that the Kh-47 missile was launched by a MiG-31K aircraft from Russian territory and shot down by a Patriot missile. The Kinzhal is one of the newest and most advanced Russian weapons, with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and a speed that is 10 times the speed of sound, making it difficult to intercept.

The combination of hypersonic speed and a heavy warhead allows the Kinzhal to destroy heavily fortified targets such as underground bunkers or mountain tunnels. The Ukrainian army had previously admitted that it did not have the resources to intercept the Kinzhal.


Acquisition of Patriot systems

Patriot missile launchers purchased in the United States will be deployed to Warsaw, Poland, on Feb. 6, 2023. (Michal Dyjuk/AP)

Ukraine received the first batch of Patriot missiles at the end of April. While it is not specified how many systems or where they were deployed, they are known to have been supplied by the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands. Germany and the United States have confirmed the shipment of at least one battery each, and the Netherlands have reported delivery of two launchers.

Ukrainian troops have received the necessary training to locate a target with the systems, track it with radar and fire. Each battery requires up to 90 people to operate and maintain.

Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential building in Uman, central Ukraine, on April 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov first requested Patriot systems during his visit to the United States in August 2021, months before Russia’s full-scale invasion and seven years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.


The cost of Patriot systems

The Patriot system was first deployed by the United States in the 1980s. The estimated cost is $4 million per missile, and the launchers cost about $10 million each, according to analysts. Given the cost, it was assumed that Ukraine would only use the Patriots against Russian aircraft or hypersonic missiles.

US support for Ukraine

Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 ground attack aircraft are seen on a mission over the Donetsk region, Ukraine on May 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Libkos)

Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine thanked US General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a Telegram message for continued US assistance to Ukraine. Zaluzhnyi also briefed Milley on “the situation at the front and preparations” for Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russia.

While Ukraine has not specified when it would launch the counter-offensive, it is widely expected to take place in the spring. In an interview this week with Foreign Affairs magazine, Milley said he wouldn’t speculate if or when it will happen, but noted that, with NATO help training and equipping nine brigades of combined forces, armored and mechanized infantry, “the Ukrainians’ ability to attack” today.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, testifies at a House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on March 23, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

exchange of prisoners of war

Officials from both Russia and Ukraine reported that they were again regularly exchanging POWs. The Russian Defense Ministry said three military pilots had returned to Russia, while Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said 45 fighters defending the Azovstal steel company in Mariupol had been returned to Ukraine.

Allegations of use of phosphorus ammunition

On Saturday, Ukrainian Special Operations Forces accused Russia of using phosphorus munitions in an attempt to seize control of the eastern city of Bakhmut from Ukrainian forces. Russian troops have been trying to take the city for more than nine months, but Ukrainian troops still maintain positions in the western suburbs.

The newspaper Ukrainska Pravda quoted military officials as saying that “the enemy used phosphorus and incendiary ammunition in Bakhmut in an attempt to wipe the city off the face of the earth”. A photo accompanying the newspaper report showed an urban area that was on fire in several places. These allegations could not be independently verified.

Russian troops have not commented on the allegation, but have denied previous Ukrainian allegations that they had used phosphorus. International law prohibits the use of white phosphorus or other incendiary weapons in areas where there may be concentrations of civilians. White phosphorus can also be used for lighting or to create smoke screens.

Latest stories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here