Russian Hypersonic ‘Likely’ Damaged Patriot Near Kyiv: Report

A Patriot air defense system was likely damaged during the Russian missile barrage around Kyiv early Tuesday morning.

US officials are assessing the extent of the damage, which will help them decide whether the system needs to be taken out of the country for repair, CNN revealed citing a US official.

The Russian Ministry of Defense stated on Tuesday that a Kinzhal hypersonic missile struck a Patriot system in Kyiv.

Ukraine Denies

Ukrainian authorities declined to comment on Moscow’s claim, stating that the system intercepted all six hypersonic missiles launched by Russia on Tuesday. 

“We cannot comment on this. We’ll stay out of commenting on Russian sources,” CNN quoted Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat.

Reuters later quoted Ihnat as denying the development, calling it Russian propaganda.

“I want to say: do not worry about the fate of the Patriot,” Ihnat assured.

“Destroying the system with some kind of ‘Kinzhal,’ it’s impossible. Everything that [the Russian government says] there, it can remain in their propaganda archive.”

A US National Security Council spokesperson CNN spoke to also declined to comment on the matter.

Patriot Battery

Another US official CNN spoke to said that one of the six major components of the Raytheon system is likely to have been damaged.

A Patriot battery comprises generators, a radar set, a control station, antennas, a launcher station, and interceptor missiles.

According to the outlet, the system’s radar’s emission, which helps it detect a target from a long-range, might have also let a missile decipher its location.

Patriot’s larger size and less mobility compared to a short-range air defense system might have also allowed a Russian missile to zero in on its location.

Could Affect Kyiv’s Capacity to Defend

Ukraine currently operates two Patriot systems: one delivered by the US and another jointly by the Netherlands and Germany. It’s not clear which battery has potentially been damaged.

According to CNN, taking a Patriot battery out of action, even for a short period, could potentially affect Ukraine’s capacity to defend its capital.

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