Ukraine Says it Shot Down Multiple Russian Hypersonic Missiles

May 16, 2023

Ukraine said Tuesday it had shot down six Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missiles overnight Monday.

“Yet another massive Russian air attack on Ukraine last night,” Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, tweeted Tuesday morning.

He listed the Russian weaponry he said Ukrainian air defense had shot down: six aeroballistic Kinzhal rockets, nine Kalibr cruise missiles, six Iranian-made Shahed drones and three additional drones.

He also said the downing of three “ballistic/anti-aircraft rockets” was still to be confirmed.

It was the first time Ukrainian officials had claimed to have struck an entire volley of hypersonic missiles. 

On May 6 the Ukrainian military posted a photo of what it asserted was a downed Russian hypersonic missile using recently-acquired American Patriot defense systems (see photo). Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram it had been intercepted in an overnight attack on Kyiv earlier that week.

Kinzhals are ballistic missiles that can travel at up to 10 times the speed of sound. They can also carry nuclear warheads a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers.

The six that Ukraine said it shot down overnight Monday rained down debris down upon Kyiv after they were blasted from the sky. Local city officials said at least three people were wounded by the falling debris.

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed to have destroyed the U.S.-built Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system with one of its Kinzhal missiles. However, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said that was not the case, as all the hypersonic missiles had been shot down.

PHOTO: Alleged Russian hypersonic missile shot down by Ukraine on May 4

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