In the early hours of May 4, Russia launched yet another long-range barrage against the Ukrainian capital with Iranian-made drones and Cold-war missiles. Witnesses who saw and heard Ukrainian air defenses working as normal reported a single, larger than normal explosion in the air over Kyiv at around 2:05 a.m.

Shortly thereafter, a rather excited “tweet”’ was posted, by someone who claimed to be a member of a Patriot air defense team, bragging that his team had shot down a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal (dagger) hypersonic missile.

The tweet was swiftly deleted and, without actually denying it, the Ukrainian authorities kept their silence over the issue. However, photos began to appear on social media that purported to show the wreckage of the missile, lying in a vacant sports field in Kyiv, with its nose cone shattered by a large penetration hole on one side.

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Social media photos of Kinzhal wreckage.

The rumors persisted through Thursday and Friday, but still the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) kept silent, until, on Saturday morning, they finally spoke out.

Ukraine’s Air Force commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, confirmed via Telegram that a Kh-47 missile had been launched by a MiG-31K aircraft from within the Russian territory, but that it had been intercepted and shot down by a Patriot missile. 

“Yes, we shot down a ‘unique’ Kinzhal,” Oleshchuk wrote. “It happened during the nighttime attack on May 4 in the skies over the Kyiv region.”

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The $61-billion military aid package from the United States, if passed as expected, will allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to bomb troops and operations behind enemy lines.

Russia did not immediately comment on Ukraine's statement. 

The US Patriot system is one of an array of sophisticated air defense equipment supplied by the West to help defend Ukraine against the months-long Russian drone and missile campaign that has targeted civilian sites, critical infrastructure and power facilities. The first Patriots are reported to have only arrived in Ukraine in mid-April. Ukraine has not declared how many of the systems it has or where they have been deployed, but they are known to have received them from the US, Germany and the Netherlands.

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The air-launched ballistic Kinzhal missile was revealed by Putin in 2018, with much ballyhoo as being yet another example of Russia’s so-called next generation of war-winning technology. In particular, they boasted that the Kinzhal had no equivalent in the West and with speeds of up to Mach 10 (12,350 kph) and a range of nearly 2,000 km was “invulnerable.

Kinzhal missiles are believed to have been used on several occasions in Ukraine. The first known use being an attack on munitions dump in southwestern Ukraine on March 19, 2022, and Ukraine said until recently they had no defense against the missile – it seems now that they have.

“They said that the Patriot is an outdated American weapon, and Russian weapons are the best in the world,” Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on Ukraine’s Channel 24 TV. “Well, there is confirmation that it effectively works against even a super hypersonic missile.” Ihnat gleefully added, it must be “a slap in the face for Russia.”

The AFU early reticence to confirm the downing of the missile is understandable. They probably didn’t want to give too much away and to keep the Russians guessing. The Russians would have known they had lost a missile but may not have known why. Ukraine may have been concerned that by confirming their success they may have given away the location of the Patriot launcher inviting a Russian counter-attack (but they have now presumably moved it).

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After a couple of days thought, the army chiefs probably decided that they could effectively show the Kremlin a “middle finger” and raise more doubts in their enemy’s mind about the technological prowess of the so-called “second army of the world!

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Comments ( 1)

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Jef
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Already confirmed that actually is a bomb 50 years old, not a Kindzal. To be fair, Kindzal has 1.2 meters diameter, while this bomb is not more than 300cm.
Why did you people place such a fake propaganda?

dude
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@Jef, hey, vatnik scum all over the planet. He's right. You must believe this pathetic loser who writes comments for money 🤣

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Phil
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@Jef, thank you

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