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Ukraine's Air Force admits shooting down first Russian ballistic missile on May 4

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 6, 2023 11:08 AM 2 min read
A German-operated MIM-104 Patriot missile fires an interceptor missile during Operation Red Arrow exercise in Greece on October 15, 2008 (Peter Mueller/Bundeswehr)
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Ukraine's Air Force admitted on May 6 that it shot down a Russian Kh-47 Kinzhal ballistic missile for the first time since the start of the war.

The Air Force said that a Patriot air defense system was used to destroy the ballistic missile over Kyiv Oblast that Russia launched from MiG-31K in its territory at around 2:30 a.m. on May 4.

The Air Force said that the military leadership decided not to publish information about the downing of the Kh-47 Kinzhal missile by the Patriot system immediately due to "quite obvious" reasons. It didn't elaborate.

The report comes after a denial from the force's spokesperson Yurii Ihnat on May 5, who said that ballistic missiles were not shot down or even detected over Kyiv's airspace on May 4.

The question to Ihnat was in response to the publication Defense Express's report on May 5 that a Kh-47 Kinzhal ballistic missile could have been successfully shot down by Ukrainian air defense overnight on May 4.

Ukraine received U.S. Patriot air defense systems at the end of April, which are viewed as one of the world's best air defense systems, and enable Ukraine to shoot down ballistic missiles.

Patriot air defense faces its toughest challenge ever in Ukraine
The wait is over — after almost a year of refusals and hesitation, Western-provided MIM-104 Patriot air defense systems have finally arrived and become operational in Ukraine. On April 21 and 26, Ukraine’s Air Force confirmed the full employment of two Patriot batteries. As Ukraine’s own Soviet-er…
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