Ukraine said that US-supplied Patriot surface-to-air missile systems downed all 15 Kinzhal ballistic missiles Russia fired at the country in its large-scale attack Tuesday.
Kyiv earlier said Russia fired 99 missiles of different types on Ukraine — aimed at the capital Kyiv and northeastern Kharkiv — and that its air force shot down 72 of them.
Kinzhal missiles make up part of an arsenal of weapons that Putin has claimed were indestructible because of the speed at which they travel.
The attack prompted Ukraine to urge its Western allies to accelerate weapons deliveries.
“Today, the Ukrainian air force downed 15 out of 15 Russian ‘Kinzhal’… aeroballistic missiles with the help of the Patriot AD system,” the Ukrainian army’s commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny said on social media.
“This is a record. If the missiles hit their targets, the consequences would be catastrophic.”
He thanked Ukraine’s Western allies for supplying the weapons, adding: “There is no reason to believe that the enemy will stop here. Therefore, we need more systems and munition for them.”
Ukraine has repeatedly said the Patriot air defence system is vital to defending the country from Russia.
Kyiv has urged for more Western military support, worrying about war fatigue in some countries as the conflict drags on for almost two years.
Russia’s missile attack on Ukraine Tuesday killed at least five people and wounded dozens in Kyiv and Kharkiv.
The attack came the day after Russian leader Vladimir Putin vowed to intensify strikes on Ukraine and amid a sharp escalation from both sides in recent days.
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