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Russia, meet Ukraine’s iron dome

Russia, meet Ukraine’s iron dome

by host

KYIV — Ukraine on Tuesday morning shot down a barrage of Russian weapons, including six hypersonic missiles, thanks to its newly souped-up air defense system.

Kyivans were unable to sleep overnight, with some burrowed underground in shelters and others glued to the television, while burning debris fell amid the loudest air battle to take place in the skies over the capital in weeks. In total, Ukraine’s air defense forces reported shooting down all 18 Russian missiles and nine drones.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles are 10 times faster than the speed of sound, making them almost impossible to shoot down. But since American Patriot air defense missile systems arrived in Ukraine, it has now shot down the Kinzhals on two occasions.

The latest Russian attack happened as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy finished a tour of Western Europe to advocate for more advanced air defense and fighter jets for Ukraine.

Ukrainian air defense forces said Tuesday in a statement: “This night Russia attacked Ukraine from south, north, and east. From six aircraft MiG-31K, six hypersonic missiles X-47M2 ‘Kinzhal’ were launched, 9 cruise missiles ‘Kalіbr’ — from ships off the Black Sea and three ground-based missiles (S-400, ‘Iskander-M’). All of them were shot down.”

All six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles were heading toward Kyiv, air defense forces spokesman Yuriy Ignat added. “This is a remarkable result. As you see Kyiv remains the main target. That is why it is well protected by some serious air defense means,” Ignat said.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said it was, “Another unbelievable success for the Ukrainian Air Forces! Russian terrorists have no chance of prevailing over Ukraine.”

Even though all the Russian missiles and drones were shot down, falling debris still caused damage and destruction. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported explosions and minor fires in several Kyiv districts. Three people were wounded and several cars were burned. In the Shevchenkivsky district of Kyiv, missile debris fell into Kyiv Zoo.

“Fortunately, none of the animals or workers were injured. There was no fire. The missile fragment damaged the greenery, but all the broken branches have already been removed,” Klitschko said. “Anti-stress measures are now being conducted with the animals.”

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