Six Russian Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles were allegedly shot down by Ukrainian air defenses on Monday night, almost two weeks after Kyiv announced the first downing of the "hypersonic" weapon on Thursday.
"Another unbelievable success for the Ukrainian Air Forces!" Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov claimed. "Last night, our sky defenders shot down six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles and 12 other missiles."
"Last night, our sky defenders shot down six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles and 12 other missiles."Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov
Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram that the Kinzhal missiles were launched from MiG-31K jets.
The Monday night barrage included nine Kalibr sea-launched missiles, three land-based missiles, and drones.
The Kalibr cruise missiles launched from Russian warships in the Black Sea, and the land-based missiles were Iskander-M and S-400 missiles. The S-400 is normally used as an anti-air system, but the platform has land attack capability.
"In addition, on the night of May 16, the enemy attacked with Shahed-136/131 type strike drones, and also conducted aerial reconnaissance with three operational-tactical drone," said Zaluzhnyi.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry claimed "all targets shot down" during the Russian attack.
"Russian terrorists have no chance of prevailing over Ukraine. Their weapons can and should be countered by Western ones."Oleksii Reznikov
"Russian terrorists have no chance of prevailing over Ukraine. Their weapons can and should be countered by Western ones," said Reznikov. "Thank you to our Air Force service members and our partner states, who invested in securing the skies over Ukraine and all of Europe."
However, Russian military news outlet Zvezda reported on Tuesday that a Kinzhal missile had successfully destroyed an American-made Patriot anti-air system in Kyiv.
The Russian Defense Ministry also made its own claims about downing Ukrainian missiles on Monday, saying that it had intercepted seven HARM missiles and one UK-developed Storm Shadow cruise missile.
Ukraine downing missiles with US Patriot battery
The Kinzhal was ostensibly first downed by Ukrainian forces using an American-made Patriot battery, casting doubt on the capabilities of the Russian weapon.
The Pentagon confirmed the downing in a press briefing last Tuesday.
Since its unveiling by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, the Kinzhal missile has been touted by Russian officials as a hypersonic and ultra-maneuverable projectile that would be impossible for Western air defenses to intercept.
The Kinzhal was first used in combat against a Ukrainian position in March, and according to Russian officials has been used at other points in the Kremlin's invasion.
NATO and US documents have described the weapon as formidable but indicated that it is not a true hypersonic weapon. Most ballistic missiles reach hypersonic speeds, Mach 5 and above, during their launching. Hypersonic weapons travel above Mach 5 within the atmosphere for extended periods.