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Zaluzhnyi says Ukraine downed record number of Kinzhal missiles on Jan. 2

by Daria Shulzhenko January 2, 2024 6:33 PM 2 min read
Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi at the funeral of a Ukrainian soldier in early March 2023 in Kyiv. (Yurii Stefanyak/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine downed a record number of Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles that Russia launched against the country on Jan. 2, Ukraine's Commander in Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi reported. The Air Force intercepted all 10 Kinzhals Russia launched on Jan. 2, using the U.S.-designed Patriot air defense systems.

If the missiles hit their targets, the consequences would have been catastrophic, Zaluzhnyi wrote on X.

Russia launched at least 99 missiles on the morning of Jan. 2, targeting Kyiv, the surrounding region, and Kharkiv. The attack killed 5 people and injured 127, including children, as of 5 p.m.

The Air Force reported earlier that 72 Russian missiles were shot down, along with all of the 35 Shahed "kamikaze" drones that Russia used to attack the country earlier in the night.

On X, Zaluzhnyi thanked Ukraine’s allies for providing the air defense systems but said that the country needs more systems.

"There is no reason to believe that the enemy will stop here. Therefore, we need more systems and munition for them," he wrote.

Earlier in the day, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics called for more air defense systems for Ukraine.

Nauseda wrote on X that "Ukrainians do wonders with the air defense the West has provided, but they need more."  "Air defense systems to Ukraine now!"

Rinkevics also wrote that "Ukrainian air defense works well, but Ukraine must get more help."

"New Year’s celebrations are over and the West must get serious and act now," Rinkevics posted on X.

Update: 5 killed, 127 injured in Russia’s large-scale attack against Ukraine
The death toll of the Russian Jan. 2 large-scale attack against Ukraine rose to five people as of 5 p.m., the State Emergency Service reported.
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