Ukrainian officials confirmed on Thursday that 18 Russian missiles were all shot down on Tuesday night. Nine missiles, all of which were aimed at the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv, were Kalibr cruise missiles, three were Iskander cruise missiles, and a further six were hypersonic missiles. The attempted strikes were confirmed by the commander in chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, on Telegram.
Zaluzhnyi also confirmed that Russian forces launched a series of Iranian Shahek “kamikaze” drones at the city and conducted aerial reconnaissance during the missile strikes.
Serhiy Popko, the head of the Kyiv military administration, described the attacks as “exceptional” in terms of the sheer number of missiles that were aimed at the city in quick succession.
“It was exceptional in its density – the maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time,” Popko said.
Popko also said that the strikes were the eighth such assault on Kyiv in just the last month, adding that missiles appeared to come from multiple directions around the city.
At least 10 loud explosions were reported across the city as Ukrainian forces intercepted the missiles in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat confirmed that the Kinzhal missiles were fired from Russian MiG-31k aircraft, while the Kalibr missiles were fired from Russia’s ship fleet in the Black Sea.
Writing on Twitter, Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov praised the Ukrainian Air forces for stopping every strike.
“Another unbelievable success for the Ukrainian Air Forces!” Reznikov said. “Last night, our sky defenders shot down SIX Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles and 12 other missiles.”’
Reznikov thanked Ukrainian forces and partner states for investing in the security of Ukrainian air space and insisted that Russian weapons can only be countered by “Western ones.”
Speaking to CNN, Kyiv resident Liudmyla Kravchenko said that she, her husband, and her two children slept in the hallway of their building for most of the night over fear that the missiles could hit them.
“There’s no bomb shelter nearby, the underground station is quite far from us,” Kravbechnko said, adding that it would be “even more dangerous” to attempt to get to a shelter during a missile bombardment.
At least three people were injured during the attempted attacks, and while no missiles reached their intended targets, debris fell from the air and landed in the Kyiv Zoo. No animals were injured as a result and the zoo was opened again the next day. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko also confirmed that a large building in the city endured some damage as a result of falling debris.
France later described the overnight missile attack in Kyiv as a war crime.
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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.