The Ukrainian military shot down a hypersonic Russian missile over Kyiv using the newly acquired Patriot missile defense system, an air force commander confirmed on Saturday.
It’s the first time Ukraine has been known to intercept one of Moscow’s most sophisticated weapons, after receiving the long-sought, American-made defense batteries from the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands.
“Yes, we shot down the ‘unique’ Kinzhal,” Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram, referring to a Kh-47 missile, which flies at 10 times the speed of sound. “It happened during the night time attack on May 4 in the skies of the Kyiv region.”
Ukraine confirmed that two Patriot batteries were operational last month, following training on the system from the U.S. and Germany, according to the Kyiv Independent. The interception of the hypersonic missile also represents a major success for the Patriot technology, in use on the battlefield after 20 years of upgrades.
Kyiv had initially denied that it had shot down the Kinzhal missile.
Ukraine first asked Washington for Patriot systems in 2021, well before Russia’s current war of aggression began in February 2022. The U.S. and Germany have each sent at least one Patriot battery to Ukraine; and the Netherlands said it has provided two.
Separately, a well-known Russian nationalist writer was injured in a car bomb, reported TASS, Russia’s state-owned news service. Zakhar Prilepin was wounded in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, in a blast that killed one person, according to the report.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said the blast was the “direct responsibility of the U.S. and Britain,” without providing evidence, according to Reuters.