VLADIMIR Putin faces new humiliation after Ukraine claimed all six of his “unstoppable” Kinzhal missiles were shot down over Kiev.
The Russian president’s unprecedented assault on the capital backfired somewhat after his most feared artillery was disabled last night.
Ukraine claims to have shot down all 18 rockets fired overnight in the attack on the city, which was described as “extraordinary density”.
The skies over Kiev were icy lit as Russian missiles rained down from the skies and air raid sirens wailed across the region.
Valerii Zaluzhny, the leader of the armed forces, said Russia attacked from three directions using air, sea and land missiles.
These included nine Kalibr cruise missiles, capable of traveling at five times the speed of sound, launched from ships in the Black Sea.
Also, three land-based missiles were fired at Kiev, along with half a dozen Kinzhal hypersonic missiles that Ukraine is said to have shot down.
Also known as the Russian Daggers, the KH-47s are said to be able to travel at 12 times the speed of sound – making them nearly impossible to detect and neutralize from a defensive position.
The missiles, which can reach speeds of over 7,000 miles per hour and have been regularly launched by Putin in the Ukraine war, can be loaded with up to 1,000 pounds of explosives or even a nuclear warhead.
Putin himself has touted the Kinzhal as an unstoppable force that could rival even NATO — but now he only has 73 at his disposal.
Ukraine appears to be making the most of its influx of Western defense systems, announcing that all six have been shot down.
The war-torn country said it thwarted a whole barrage of hypersonic missiles with the US-made Patriot air defense system.
Earlier this month, Ukraine claimed to have shot down a single Kinzhal over Kiev for the first time.
City official Serhiy Popko said: “In the shortest possible time, the maximum number of rockets were fired at the city.”
“This time the enemy launched a complex attack in different directions at once, using UAVs, cruise missiles and probably also ballistic missiles.
“According to preliminary information, the vast majority of enemy targets in Kiev airspace were detected and destroyed.”
But Russia insisted Monday’s missile and drone strikes hit all their intended targets.
Putin’s henchmen also claimed they successfully destroyed the $1.1 billion US Patriot missile system, which is vital to protecting Kiev.
The tyrant reportedly targeted the forward air defense battery during Russia’s recent bombardment, in furious response to the UK’s deployment of “pioneering” Storm Shadow missiles into Ukraine.
The recent influx of aid to the battlefield enraged the President, and his spokesman vowed there would be an “appropriate response”.
And it seems to have gone straight to the jugular with the destruction of Kiev’s crucial surface-to-air missile defense system.
The Patriot – which stands for “Phased Array Tracking Radar” for “Intercept on Target” – is said to have been destroyed in the recent bombardment.
It has proven to be an indispensable part of the equipment used by Ukrainian fighters to intercept missiles and shoot down Russian “kamikaze” drones.
The system has a powerful radar, control station, power generator, launch stations and other support vehicles.
“Senseless and Merciless”
It costs a whopping $1.1 billion — $400 million for the system and $690 million for the missiles in a battery — but it gives Ukraine an invaluable advantage in defending against airstrikes.
Each missile launched by the Patriot costs around $4 million – and footage showed dozens were launched last night alone.
This means that Ukraine has paid a heavy bill in its attempt to protect Kiev.
A shocking video appeared to capture the moment a US-supplied Patriot SAM system depleted its defense stockpiles as it battled a barrage of incoming missiles and drones.
Several missiles can be seen hurtling toward the site before a massive explosion that reportedly destroyed the Patriot system.
The claims were published on the Russian Telegram channel Military Informer. There is currently no official confirmation.
The post states: “There are many videos from Kiev showing the extremely dense batteries of the American MIM-104 Patriot SAM, and as soon as the SAM runs out of missiles, it comes to the place where the launches were made a violent explosion.” .”
The Patriot is considered an important addition to the Kiev arsenal due to its ability to withstand Russian airstrikes.
It is feared that Ukraine’s defenses of the capital could collapse if the vital mobile air defense system were knocked out.
The latest attack on Kiev has been described as “senseless and merciless” by pro-Russian war blogger Anatoly Shariy.
At least three people were reportedly injured when local residents were warned of falling debris.
Solomyansky District, where Kiev International Airport is located, is said to have been hardest hit.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko said rocket debris fell in central districts, including the city’s zoo, but no animals or workers were injured.
In a message on Telegram, he urged Ukrainians: “Stay in emergency shelters!”
The relentless lightning attack resulted in a fire breaking out at a non-residential building in the district, which has since been extinguished.
It was the eighth major airstrike on Kiev since early May – and the heaviest.
Horror images show destroyed buildings, cars, buildings and infrastructure as explosions erupted across the city.
The attacks came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy returned to Kyiv after a four-country tour of Europe with Britain as the last stop.
He secured commitments for even more air defense systems, attack drones and armored vehicles from allies.
Moscow is angered by Britain’s missile shipments, but Putin’s spokesman said it has “no impact” on the course of the war.
However, he warned that doing so “would lead to retaliation from the Russian Federation.”
Russian forces claimed to have shot down one of the long-range Storm Shadow missiles supplied by the UK, but John Kirby, the US National Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, said: “I cannot confirm these reports.”
Russian Ambassador Andrei Kelin claimed that the weapons supplied by Britain would be used by Ukraine against civilians in Donbass.
But Britain is said to have received assurances that the missiles would only be used inside Ukraine.
Ukraine has been demanding long-range missiles for months, but support from Britain and other allies like the US has so far been limited to shorter-range weapons.
The world awaits Kiev’s much-anticipated counteroffensive — with suggestions they could launch a major operation and even push into Crimea.
Brave soldiers held back the much larger Russian army as the war descended into a bloody stalemate over the winter.
However, heroic Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said more time was needed to prepare before hitting back.
Russia invaded Ukraine last February – a conflict that has turned into a bitter, brutal war.
It is claimed that nearly 200,000 Russian soldiers were killed in Putin’s botched invasion.
And millions of Ukrainian civilians have endured untold misery as the Russians stole their homes and devastated cities.
Despite the bloodshed, Kyiv, backed by the West, still stands firm against the Russians.