Ukraine War: Kiev Says It Shot Down Russian Hypersonic Missiles

  • Hugo Pacheca in Kiev & Kathryn Armstrong in London
  • BBC News

image caption,

The video of the blast is going viral on social media

Ukraine says it shot down hypersonic missiles amid an “exceptionally dense” barrage launched in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Kiev said the air defenses intercepted six Kinzel hypersonic missiles, which Russia says are capable of defeating all existing air defense systems.

Officials said they were among 18 missiles of various types fired at the city in a short period of time.

Russia denies its Kinzels were down and said one destroyed a US-supplied Patriot air defense system.

Ukraine declined to comment. The BBC cannot independently verify the claims made by either country.

Russia has stepped up its air campaign in recent weeks – bombing the Ukrainian capital eight times so far this month – in anticipation of a Ukrainian attack.

On Tuesday evening, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow had not fired Kinzel missiles, as Kiev had said it had shot down.

However, if Ukraine’s claims are true, Moscow will be frustrated that the best weapons from its missile fleet are now being intercepted. This is largely due to the advent of modern Western security systems, including Patriots.

Russia continues to insist that no air defense systems in the world can destroy the missiles, which can travel at a speed of 11,000 km (7,000 mph).

Kyiv said it shot down a Kinsale for the first time last week.

In the past few days, President Volodymyr Zelensky has been on a European tour during which he pledged billions of dollars worth of military equipment to Western allies, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron.

image source, State Emergency Service of Ukraine

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Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, has been targeted by Russia eight times so far this month

Air defense forces destroyed targets over the city during Tuesday’s barrage.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces chief Valery Zalushny said Russia attacked Kiev from the north, south and east, using 18 air, sea and land-based missiles.

Serhiy Popko, head of the Ukrainian capital’s military administration, described the barrage as “the highest number of offensive missiles in a short period of time.”

General Salushni said the strikes included nine Kalibr cruise missiles and three land-based missiles launched from ships in the Black Sea.

On Tuesday, residents were warned to stay away from windows as debris from intercepted missiles fell from the sky.

Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said rocket debris fell in central districts, including the city’s zoo. Neither the animals nor the workers were injured.

Kseniia, who lives in Kyiv, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that she and her husband were sleeping when they heard a “very loud series of explosions” above their building. He compared the intensity of the attack to a Star Wars movie or an action video game.

“It is a great relief to know that Kyiv is now under such strong protection”.

Another resident, Yevhen Petrov, said Tuesday’s attack was the first time his home had been shaken by the force of an attack since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia’s strikes on Kyiv resumed earlier this month after more than 50 days of calm. Ukrainian officials believe Moscow’s strategy is to destroy air defense systems that are highly successful at intercepting missiles and drones.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, thousands of civilians and fighters have been killed or injured, towns and cities have been destroyed in the fighting, and 8.2 million Ukrainians have been registered as refugees in Europe, 2.8 million of them in Russia. United Nations Refugee Agency.

Additional reporting by BBC weapons analyst Chris Partridge.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his army needs more equipment ahead of a counter-offensive

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