- The air defense system was hit by a Kinzhal rocket, the Russian Defense Ministry has said
MOSCOW (Agencies): A precision strike by a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile has destroyed a Patriot air defense system in Kiev, the Defense Ministry in Moscow reported on Tuesday.
The Ukrainian government previously claimed that Kinzhal missiles had been intercepted by the US-made weapons platform.
The Russian military did not provide further details about the strike, which was the first time Moscow claimed to have hit the long-range system supplied to Ukraine by its Western backers.
Kiev reported that it had withstood a massive missile attack by Russian forces on Monday night. The Ukrainian military claimed to have intercepted six Kinzhal missiles, in addition to various other aerial targets.
The Russian ministry confirmed the attack in a daily briefing on Tuesday, stating that it had used long-range precision weapons to hit military targets, including “Ukrainian troops positions and places of storage of munitions, weapons and military hardware delivered from Western nations.”
A video circulating on social media purports to show a Patriot battery deployed in the Ukrainian capital firing several barrages of missiles at incoming Russian targets. Seconds later, a large explosion can be seen in the area.
The Ukrainian government claimed last week that it had used a Patriot system to achieve the first-ever downing of a Kinzhal missile. The projectile is a hypersonic weapon whose speed makes it practically impossible to be intercepted.
Speaking to Russian media, anonymous sources in the Russian Defense Ministry dismissed the Ukrainian claim as “wishful thinking.” Some outlets suggested that Kiev had misidentified debris from a slower ballistic Iskander missile, which is a ground-launched weapon that shares some design features with the air-launched Kinzhal.