Ukraine Shoots Down Russian Missiles on Kyiv

KYIV, Ukraine—In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Ukrainian officials successfully intercepted and destroyed 18 Russian missiles that were targeted at the capital city.

Ukraine’s air force neutralized the missile barrage, which originated from the north, south, and east, including the interception of six ballistic Kinzhal missiles. The general staff also reported the downing of several drones, including surveillance drones and Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones.

Previously, Ukrainian forces lacked the capability to counter the Kinzhal missiles, which can travel at speeds exceeding five times the speed of sound. However, in April, Kyiv received Patriot air-defense systems from the United States, equipping them to combat hypersonic missiles.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov took to Twitter to celebrate the success, stating, “Another remarkable triumph for the Ukrainian Air Forces! Russian terrorists have no chance of prevailing over Ukraine. Western weaponry can and will counter their weapons.” He also expressed gratitude to partner states for investing in securing Ukraine’s skies.

The sound of outgoing fire and explosions reverberated throughout central Kyiv, causing buildings to shake and waking residents from their slumber. Videos circulating online depicted a barrage of missiles launching into the sky, followed by several explosions above the city.

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Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported damage caused by falling debris in various parts of the city, including the zoo. Fortunately, no animals or workers were injured. In another district, several cars caught fire, resulting in at least three injuries.

Furthermore, the governor confirmed that authorities shot down a drone over the central Cherkasy region. There were no reported casualties or damage.

These recent events follow a period of relative calm, as Moscow has intensified its assaults in the past few weeks. In late April, a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the central city of Uman, claiming the lives of twenty-three individuals. Last week, Kyiv successfully repelled numerous drone attacks.

Describing the situation, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted, “The eighth May attempt by the ‘Putin’s clan’ to massively attack Kyiv.”

The exact targets of the Russian missiles remain uncertain. Throughout the conflict, both sides have targeted civilian and military sites, including bases and logistics nodes such as rail lines. During the winter, Moscow targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, interpreted by Western diplomats and analysts as an attempt to undermine Ukrainian morale, encourage westward migration, and create a humanitarian crisis for the European Union.

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The surge in missile activity coincided with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s European tour, during which he sought further military aid. Germany pledged an additional $3 billion in military assistance, while France committed to delivering more armored vehicles and light tanks. The United Kingdom offered hundreds of long-range attack drones and other weaponry.

Notably, the U.K. had previously provided Ukraine with specially adapted Storm Shadow cruise missiles, enabling them to strike deep within Russian front lines. Russia has accused Ukraine of deploying these weapons in recent attacks.

Meanwhile, China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, is embarking on a Europe trip that includes visits to Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany, and Poland. However, Warsaw has met his presence with caution due to concerns about China’s close ties with Moscow.

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has characterized China’s position as “a kind of pro-Russian neutrality.”

During his visit to Poland, Li Hui has a scheduled meeting with the Foreign Ministry’s undersecretary for Asian affairs. Polish politicians, including Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, criticized China’s peace proposal for Ukraine, claiming that it lacks explicit requirements for Russia to vacate occupied Ukrainian territories, be held accountable for alleged war crimes, such as child abductions, and provide reparations for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

While seeking additional information, the U.S. State Department acknowledged reports of a U.S. citizen’s death in Bakhmut. However, the department emphasized its limited ability to verify such reports and reiterated its advisory against travel to Ukraine due to the ongoing armed conflict.

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