Ukraine Sustains Damage to its Patriot Air Defence System as Russia Strikes Kyiv with Missiles, Drones

May 17, 2023 - 17:09
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The war in Ukraine has entered its 448th day and both sides are far from considering holding truce talks.

This week there was an escalation in the war as Western news agencies reported that Russia launched a full-blown attack on Kyiv to retaliate against Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s three-day trip to Europe where he visited London, Berlin, Paris and Rome to secure more military assistance, including long-range attack drones from the UK.

Russia launched six Kinzhal missiles, nine Kalibr missiles and three ballistic rockets, as well as six attack drones and three reconnaissance drones.

Ukraine claimed that it neutralised “the Kremlin’s most potent hypersonic weapon” but later found out that the attack damaged a Patriot air defence system used by the Ukrainian forces, the Guardian reported.

Ukraine has received two Patriot air missile systems in April from the US and Germany, respectively. CNN and the Guardian, citing people familiar with the developments, said that the damaged missile “system may have to be withdrawn entirely depending on the level of damage it had sustained” and experts are assessing the damage.

The Guardian in its report said that it was one of the biggest attacks on Kyiv following the beginning of the so-called military operation. Russia sent Shahed loitering drones from the north, launched Kinzhals via MiG-31K fighter jets from the east and fired Kalibr missiles from warships stationed in the Black Sea, the Guardian report said, citing Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s air command.

The attacks forced many Kyiv residents to seek refuge in bomb shelters. Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said that there were three victims from the Solomyan district. They were hurt as debris fell on them. He said that debris fell on the suburbs of Darnytskyi and Obolonskyi. This led to fires which were quickly brought under control by firefighters.

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