Ukraine Says it Shot Down 29 of 30 Russian Missiles Overnight

May 18, 2023

Russia fired 30 cruise missiles into parts of Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning, all but one of which Ukrainian officials said were shot down.

“Ninth Russian attack on Kyiv during May last night. Other Ukrainian cities attacked, as well,” Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, tweeted Thursday morning, posting photos of what he said were destroyed “fragments of Russian rockets” that fell in the Kyiv region. He added, “According to preliminary information, all enemy targets in Kyiv’s airspace were identified and destroyed.”

One person died and two others wounded by the Russian missile that made it into the southern region of Odesa and struck an industrial building, according to Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the region’s military administration.

Loud explosions were also heard in Kyiv amid a clear escalation by Russia ahead of an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake captured territory.

The latest Russian barrage comes after Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly denied Kremlin claims that one of its Kinzhal hypersonic missiles destroyed a U.S. Patriot missile defense system in an overnight Monday attack. Ukraine has insisted it shot down all six of those missiles, and that the Patriot was not destroyed—though U.S. officials have conceded the system was likely damaged, not destroyed.

Falling debris in Kyiv sparked a fire at a garage complex, though Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv Military Administration, said on Telegram that there was no initial word of any casualties. 

Authorities said Ukraine also shot down two Russian exploding drones and two reconnaissance drones early Thursday.

Meanwhile, Russian-installed authorities in occupied Crimea reported that eight train cars had been derailed in an explosion Thursday, renewing suspicions of possible Ukrainian sabotage behind Russian lines. Russian state media reported that the train was carrying grain.

Ukraine officials have refused to comment on possible acts of sabotage.

PHOTO: @Gerashchenko_en

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