The attack involved the “maximum number of attacking missiles in the shortest period of time,” the Kyiv City Military Administration announced.
Russian forces reportedly used ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and drones to bombard the city from multiple directions. Air raid sirens began in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and the Ukrainian Air Force said that 18 missiles had been launched at the capital around 3:30 am local time, but all of the inbound missiles directed at the city had been shot down.
Latest Attack on the Capital City
It was the eighth attack on Kyiv just in this month. The Kremlin had claimed the attack had destroyed a U.S.-built Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system, but Ukraine has denied that the claim.
“The enemy’s mission is to sow panic and create chaos. However, in the northern operational zone (including Kyiv), everything is under complete control,” said General Serhiy Naev, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces.
Ukrainian authorities have not provided information on casualties.
“According to preliminary information, the vast majority of enemy targets in the airspace of Kyiv were detected and destroyed,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Ukrainian capital’s military administration, told the BBC.
The goal of these aerial attacks on Ukraine’s urban centers likely remains unchanged – they are meant to put psychological pressure on the Ukrainian people, while destroyed critical infrastructure. The latest attack also came as Russian forces have faced repeated setbacks near the city of Bakhmut, which the Kremlin had sought to seize in advance of last week’s Victory Day celebrations in Russia,
Hypersonic Missiles Countered?
General Valerii Zaluzhny, head of the Ukrainian armed forces, told reporters that the attack on Tuesday morning included nine Kalibr cruise missiles, which were launched from ships in the Black Sea, while three were land-based. The armed forces chief also claimed that Kyiv destroyed six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which are capable of reaching speeds of more than 11,000 km/h (7,000 mph).
Moscow had previously boasted that the Kinzhal could not be countered by any current air defense systems in operation.
The use and destruction of the Kinzhal has not been independently verified, but if true it would be a demonstration of the effectiveness of the newly deployed Western air defense systems, and also question whether hypersonic missiles are living up to the hype. This comes just days after Ukrainian forces had claimed to have shot down a single Kinzhal missile over Kyiv for the first time with the newly deployed U.S. Patriot air defense system.
The Kh-47 Kinzhal has a range of 1,240 miles, and it is comparable to the air-launched Iskander missile. As previously reported, due to its high speed as well as maneuverability and unpredictable flight trajectory, it had been considered to have the ability to “outfly European missile defenders” such as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) or the Aegis Ashore anti-missile system. The radars of those systems could have difficulty tracking the missiles in flight.
However, it would appear that the Kinzhal hasn’t lived up to the hype.
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Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.