After Ukrainian air defense successfully shot down several hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, the growing threat to air supremacy will be of "exceptional concern" for Russia, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its May 17 update.
Russia has recently lost several aircraft. Two advanced combat jets and two helicopters crashed on May 13 after they were allegedly shot down over Russia's Bryansk Oblast, which borders Ukraine.
According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, the increased air threat to the Ukrainian-Russian border will therefore be of "exceptional concern" for the Russian military given that it is from there they launch attacks against Ukraine.
The "apparent vulnerability" of the Kinzhal missile was also "likely a surprise and an embarrassment for Russia" given that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin "touted the system as undefeatable," the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote.
Ukraine's Air Force admitted on May 6 that it shot down a Kinzhal ballistic missile for the first time since the start of the war overnight on May 4. Ukrainian air defense went on to shoot down six Kinzhal missiles during a massive Russian attack on May 16.