Russian officials must be reeling in complete disbelief after the worst of six sophisticated missile People who jumped from the sky on a night of unbelievable drama over Kiev.
when in ukraine Defense Express Outlet reported only one Kh-47 “Dagger” missile had been shot down by American Patriot air defense system Earlier this month, this sparked outrage within Russia.
U.S. officials said on Saturday. CNN Russian missile attack on May 5th targeting The Patriot itself.Russian officials called The interception was “wishful thinking” despite statements to the contrary by Ukrainian and US officials. The Kremlin believed these weapons were nearly “unstoppable”.
Those Russian claims remained in turmoil as six more allegations were made earlier on Tuesday. Kh-47 It was reportedly shot down overnight.
In one of the deadliest air raids on the capital since the war began, Ukrainian air defenses shot down 18 missiles aimed at the capital.
Explosions rocked the night sky over Kiev as new Patriot missile defense systems reacted to an unprecedented barrage of coordinated missiles.
Six of the highly rated Kh-47 missiles were launched from MiG-31K aircraft, three S-400 cruise missiles were launched from land, and nine Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian Air Force said all missiles targeting the city had been removed and no casualties were reported. But Russia claims that one of its Kinzhal missiles could actually destroy a Patriot missile battery, impacting the rest of the conflict. It’s unclear how many batteries were sent to Ukraine, but the price per battery is estimated at about $1 billion.
Kiev junta chief Serhiy Popko said of the attack, “The density was unusual and the largest number of missiles hit in a short period of time.”
The interception is a shame for the Russian military. Back in 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin billed Dagger as Russia’s “next generation” weapon, Kinzhal in Russian. Russian officials said the missile could fly 10 times the speed of sound, reach any point in Ukraine and evade all but the most advanced air defense systems. Experts questioned those claims, saying the missile was merely a modified version of an existing missile that Putin was trying to rebrand.
Even if Russia lied about Kinzhar’s speed and survivability, it still poses a major threat to Kiev. Pre-war Ukrainian air defense systems, aging and thin to protect front lines from Russian aircraft and major cities from missiles and Iranian drones, were extremely unlikely to be shot down.
That is why Kiev’s call to seize the defense of the American Patriots was so acute.
Ukraine has always occupied Kinzhal very seriously. All air raid sirens in the country go off at once just because Putin is about to launch a Kinzhal. Ukrainian air defenses can intercept most Russian missiles and drones, but Kinzhal has been unable to be shot down by any Ukrainian air defense system – so far.
It was still unclear how the Patriot system would react until the incredible events early Tuesday morning. That is why the claims about the shooting down of the first Kinzhal were so controversial and so carefully controlled by Kiev.
Ukrainian officials initially denied reports that Kinzhal had been shot down, but later confirmed that they did shoot down the missile in early May.
There are several explanations for this confusion. In addition to the possibility that the spokesperson was improperly briefed on the interception, Ukrainian commentators explained Officials said they were hesitant to discuss sensitive matters such as air defense capabilities over the capital.
On May 9, the Pentagon spokesperson reiterated, Confirmed That Ukraine shot down Kinzhal on the Patriot.The next day, Ukraine installed the wreckage of the missile screen For German journalists Builtposted a video on Twitter.
Russia used the Kinzhal sparingly for much of 2022, but recently started using it more as its inventory of underdeveloped missiles dwindled. in Russia in March Already used Six attacks were carried out in one day as part of a larger attack on Kiev and other cities in the country. Kiev is particularly concerned about the survivability of Ukraine’s air defenses, sounding air raid sirens when it detects MiG-31 aircraft that could launch missiles.
The arrival of several Patriot air defense systems and other sophisticated weaponry from the United States and Europe will change Ukraine’s air defense outlook. Since Putin bombed cities across Ukraine last October, NATO and others have sent advanced air defense systems to Kiev in stages.
German Iris-T has arrived October and shot down more since then 60 target. French and Italian SAMP/Ts and Patriots pledged in December and just recently arrived with trained Ukrainian crews. These so-called Kinjar superweapons were actually intercepted by the system. entered 40-year-old US service (although it has been significantly modernized since then).
Knowing that the advanced air defense system would challenge Putin’s terrorist bombing campaign, Russian officials eagerly threatened to send patriots to the United States.
In November last year, Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian President and current Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, said: claimed Patriots sent to Ukraine would be “legitimate targets” for Russian forces, and NATO should “disband” if they agree to send them. After the US announced it would send patriots, a Russian official said an unspecified soldier could be sent.result‘ to the United States, and then removed the subject entirely.
Why Russia fears new US arms deliveries
The Kinzhal interception is good news for President Volodymyr Zelensky, but it does not mean the end of Putin’s missile campaign. The Patriot has a range of up to 100 miles, depending on the type of interceptor used, but Ukraine has a lot of airspace to protect, and the Patriot’s artillery is limited in number.
If the first missile was indeed aimed at the Patriot battery itself, Ukraine would have to be more careful about moving the battery. Kiev city may be safer, but less secure urban centers like Odessa and Zaporizhia are frequent targets of Russian missiles.
As long as Russia has enough long-range missiles and drones to hit Ukrainian cities, President Zelensky will look to further strengthen its air defenses.Ukrainian officials consistently Although it has asked partners to provide aircraft like the F-16 to improve its air defense capabilities, NATO, especially the United States, tension Regarding the supply of Western-made jets.
Similar to the Patriots narrative in late 2022, critics argue that the F-16 is too expensive, complex and of limited benefit. If the jet debate goes the way the Patriots did, Ukraine might be able to convince its partners to make a difference.
As the Kinzhal interception shows, Ukrainian air defenses will do everything in their power to protect the skies, but the advanced U.S. weaponry makes Putin seem weaker by the day.
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