Ukraine intercepts Russian hypersonic missile using US Patriot missile defense system
Ukraine received its first delivery of the Patriot missiles in late April, but has not said how many of the systems it has or where they have been deployed.
Ukraine claimed on Saturday to have intercepted a Russian hypersonic missile over Kyiv using the Patriot missile defense system acquired from the U.S. It is the first known time that they have been able to down one of Russia's most advanced missiles.
It was also the first time that Ukraine is known to have used the Patriot defense system. Ukraine's Air Force commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, announced the accomplishment in a Telegram post saying it happened during an overnight attack on the country's capital city earlier in the week, according to the Associated Press.
"Yes, we shot down the 'unique' Kinzhal," Oleshchuk wrote, referring to the modern Russian ballistic missile. "It happened during the night-time attack on May 4 in the skies of the Kyiv region."
"They were saying that the Patriot is an outdated American weapon, and Russian weapons are the best in the world," Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said on Ukraine's Channel 24 television. "Well, there is confirmation that it effectively works against even a super-hypersonic missile." Ihnat said. He said successfully intercepting the Kinzhal was "a slap in the face for Russia."
Ukraine received its first delivery of the Patriot missiles in late April, but has not said how many of the systems it has or where they have been deployed. They are known to have been provided, according to the AP, by the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands.
The commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said in a Telegram post on Saturday that he had thanked U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for America's ongoing aid to Ukraine. He said he also briefed Milley "about the situation at the front and preparations" for Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russia, which is widely anticipated this spring, according to the outlet.