First, Kiev announces it shot down a salvo of Russian hypersonic missiles

  • Kiev claims for the first time that it shot down several Kinzhal forces
  • Putin was touting nuclear-capable missiles as a world-beater
  • Ukraine preparing for major counterattack
  • Already claiming the biggest battlefield gains in the last 6 months

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Tuesday it had shot down six Russian Kinzhar hypersonic missiles overnight, thwarting a superweapon Russia had previously advertised as uncontrollable. .

It was the first time Ukraine claimed to have launched a salvo of multiple hypersonic missiles, and if confirmed would demonstrate the effectiveness of newly deployed Western air defenses.

Air raid sirens sounded across most of Ukraine early Tuesday morning, blaring in Kiev and the region for more than three hours.

“The enemy’s mission is to create panic and cause chaos. But in the Northern Operation Zone (including Kiev) everything is under complete control,” said General Serhiy Nayev, commander of the joint forces.

The six Kinzhar ballistic missiles, which fly at ten times the maximum speed of sound, were one of 18 missile salvoes launched by Russia at night against Ukraine, after being launched from the sky and then flashed over Kiev. Illuminated and rained debris.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had destroyed a US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system with a Kinzhal missile, the military news agency Zvezda reported.

But Ukrainian military commander Valery Zardini said all interceptions were successful.

Municipal authorities in the Ukrainian capital said three people were injured in falling debris.

“The density was extraordinary, the largest number of attack missiles launched in a short period of time,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kiev city military administration, told Telegram.

Zvezda, citing the Russian ministry, said the attack was aimed at Ukrainian combat units and ammunition depots.

Zardini said the troops intercepted six Kinjar missiles launched from aircraft, nine Kalibr cruise missiles from Black Sea ships and three Iskandar missiles launched from land.

Earlier this month, Ukraine claimed to have used a newly deployed US Patriot air defense system for the first time to shoot down a Kinzhal missile over Kiev.

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin has frequently touted Kinzhal as evidence of the world’s most powerful Russian military equipment capable of fighting NATO.

As Ukrainian forces prepare to go on the offensive for the first time in six months, Russia is now launching long-range airstrikes with the highest frequency of the war.

It has launched eight salvos of drones and missiles so far this month, compared to a week of winter and a lull in March and April. Kiev claims to have the most kills.

“Under Control”

In the past week, Ukrainian forces have achieved their biggest battlefield gains since November last year, recapturing several square kilometers of territory north and south of the battlefield city of Bakhmut. The Russian government has confirmed that some troops have withdrawn, but denies that the front lines are collapsing.

Kiev said these advances were localized and have not yet reached the full potential of an upcoming counteroffensive that will utilize the hundreds of modern tanks and armored vehicles that the West has deployed this year.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive is the next major phase of the war, following Russia’s massive winter offensive that failed to capture vital new territory in what was Europe’s bloodiest ground battle since World War II. will result in

Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February and now claims to have annexed about a sixth of its neighbor’s territory. Ukraine drove back Russian forces from the outskirts of Kiev early in the war and recaptured the territory in two counterattacks in late 2022, but has continued to defend its forces since November.

Russia claims the invasion was necessary to counter security threats posed by Kiev’s close ties with the West. Ukraine and her allies call it an unprovoked and illegal war of conquest and say Kiev will not stop fighting until all Russian forces are withdrawn from the country.

Meanwhile, European leaders were meeting in Iceland on Tuesday for a two-day Council of Europe summit aimed at showing their support for Ukraine.

Leaders will approve a new damages register, a mechanism to record and document evidence and allegations of damage, loss and injury resulting from Russian aggression, according to a draft final declaration obtained by Reuters. .

European leaders such as Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Britain’s Rishi Snak and French President Emmanuel Macron will attend the summit, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a videolink speech.

Reported in Kiev by Gleb Galanich and Sergiy Karaji. Written by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne.Editing: Christopher Cushing

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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