US air defense system purportedly destroyed in Russian missile attack

Published 17 May 2023
- By Editorial Staff
The Patriot system looks to desperately fire some 30 air defense missiles before being taken out by a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile.

A precision strike by a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile has destroyed a Patriot air defense system in Kiev. This was announced by the Defense Ministry in Moscow on Tuesday. The Ukrainian government has previously claimed that Kinzhal missiles have been intercepted by the US-made weapons platform, without providing any evidence.

The Russian Defense Ministry gave no further details of the strike, which was apparently the first time Moscow claimed to have hit the air defense system supplied to Ukraine by its Western allies.

Kiev reported that it had withstood a massive missile attack by Russian forces on Monday evening. The Ukrainian military claimed to have repelled six Kinzhal missiles, in addition to various other air targets.

The Russian ministry confirmed the attack in a daily briefing on Tuesday, stating that they had used long-range precision weapons to hit military targets, including “Ukrainian troops positions and places of storage of munitions, weapons and military hardware delivered from Western nations.”

A video circulating on social media is said to show a Patriot battery in the Ukrainian capital firing several missile shots at incoming Russian objects. Seconds later, a large explosion can be seen in the area. A US admission that a Patriot system was damaged or destroyed was reported by CNN on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian government claimed last week that it had used a Patriot system to shoot down a Kinzhal missile for the first time ever, without providing any evidence. The Kinzhal is a hypersonic weapon whose speed makes it virtually impossible to intercept.

When the Russian Defense Ministry spoke to Russian media, anonymous sources dismissed the Ukrainian claim as “wishful thinking”. Some media suggested that Kiev had misinterpreted debris from a slower Iskander ballistic missile, which is a ground-fired weapon that shares some design features with the air-launched Kinzhal.

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