Western Anti-Air Missile System Saving Ukrainian Lives

Ukrainian troops are operating Lockheed Martin MIM-104 PAC3 missile system. Photo Ukrainian MoD.

Videos on social media have begun to circulate allegedly showing Ukrainian forces downing Russia’s hypersonic Kinzhal missile in Kyiv.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to wage on with fears of further escalation after the Kremlin accused Ukraine of using a drone in an alleged attempted assassination of President Vladimir Putin, which Ukraine denies. Following this, Russia allegedly launched multiple missile strikes on Thursday in the skies over Kyiv.

Kyiv Post special correspondent Jason Jay Smart shared a video allegedly showing one of these missiles being destroyed on Twitter. Smart captioned the video with a message about the importance of other countries supporting Ukraine as it continued its fight against Russia: “Listen to the cheers of the [Ukrainian] witnesses of this: They appreciate your support for a free [Ukraine].”

Kinzhal hypersonic missile debris collected by Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian PAC3 missile shot down Russian hypersonic missile. Photo Ukrainian MoD.

The suggestion that this video footage is of a Russian missile being shot down has been debunked by Ukrainian air defense, however. The Ukrainian Air Force said it downed its own drone after it lost control over Kyiv.

This took place after the initial Russian missile attacks, which happened in the early hours of the morning, according to reports.

Ukrainian troops are operating Lockheed Martin MIM-104 PAC3 missile system. Photo Ukrainian MoD.

Ukraine’s Defense Express outlet initially reported that Ukrainian forces had successfully shot down and destroyed all enemy missiles from the Thursday attack at 2:40 a.m. local time. This included the “hypersonic” Kh-47 “Kinzhal” Dagger missile, a missile that has previously been deemed unbeatable by Russia, it reported.

Speaking about hypersonic weapons in 2018, Putin suggested that the anti-missile defense systems available were powerless against them.

“One speed of sound is one Mach, from one to five—supersonic, from five or more—hypersonic. Possession of such a weapon, of course, gives serious advantages in the field of armed struggle,” Putin said. “Its power, power, as military experts say, can be enormous, and speed makes it invulnerable to today’s missile defense and air defense systems, since anti-missiles, in simple terms, simply cannot catch up with them.

“In this regard, it is understandable why the world’s leading armies strive to have such an ideal weapon for today. Russia has such weapons. They already have them,” he said.

Defense Express said that it had received photos of the missile wreckages from its own sources. It highlighted that one of the images showed the nose fairing similar to that of the ones used in the Kh-47 Dagger missiles, indicating Ukrainian forces had successfully shot down one of Russia’s most prized missiles.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said in a statement: “I have already refuted a thousand times, you should have seen it yesterday. There was a possibility of using ballistic missiles, but no ballistic missiles were recorded.”

A Ukrainian Telegram channel reporting on Ignat’s statement clarified that the “air command does not confirm the media reports about the downing of the Kinzhal missile over Kyiv.” The channel added that the media outlets that have suggested that have been reproached as Russia is using their information in the war against Ukraine.

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