The night of downed Kinzhals is loss of $120 million for Russia, plus destroyed reputation

The night of downed Kinzhals is loss of $120 million for Russia, plus destroyed reputation

Six downed "hypersonic" Kinzhal missiles. Just a few months ago, this was considered unrealistic, but today it is commonplace

Loud explosions and flashes... On the night of May 16, Kyiv experienced the most intense air attack during the war. This is how it was assessed by the Kyiv Military Administration. The enemy attacked the capital from different directions simultaneously with drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. This was the eighth air attack on Kyiv since the beginning of May, which resulted in the fall of debris in Solomianskyi, Sviatoshynskyi, Obolonskyi, Darnytskyi, and Shevchenkivskyi districts. The latter, in particular, is home to the city zoo. Fortunately, the animals were not injured, although they were very frightened, poor animals.

In other parts of the capital, there were no casualties either, with only a non-residential building and a few vehicles damaged.

"Kyiv is always a priority target. It is home to many government agencies, important state and infrastructure facilities. The capital is most often attacked in massive strikes. Our task was accomplished, the air targets were destroyed. During today's attack, the enemy did not change its tactics - they always attack with a variety of means. If you analyze any attack, you can see that the enemy attacks with missiles of different types. The peculiarity of this attack is the large number of "Kinzhals", a record for Kyiv," said Yuriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force.

According to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukrainian air defense shot down all 18 missiles - 100%!

"Six X-47M2 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles were fired from six MiG-31K aircraft, 9 Kalibr cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-based missiles (S-400, Iskander-M). In addition, the enemy attacked with 6 Shahed-136/131 attack drones and conducted aerial reconnaissance with three operational and tactical level drones - Orlan-10 and SuperCam," the general said.

Of all the listed nomenclature, the most interesting are probably the "Kinzhals" - these are the same missiles that Russian propagandists have been scaring the whole world with for years, calling them "weapons against which there is no defense." But the reality for the racists turned out to be different (read more about what the Kinzhal missile system is here). And the name of this reality is the American Patriot air defense system, which Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners quickly mastered and thus once again showed their skills and proved that the impossible is possible - any Kremlin's "staple" can be destroyed. And it can be done twice in a very short period of time. The first downing of the Kinzhal was reported a few days ago, on the morning of May 4. Thus, the Ukrainian air defense system has already shot down seven of these "analog" missiles.

At the same time, the leadership of the "second army of the world" started the traditional song that "not a single Kinzhal was damaged," that it is indeed a "hypersonic" missile, and that talk of its downing is nothing more than a fake by the "Kyiv regime" that is simply trying to hide the fact of the "destruction" of the Patriot system, hundreds of Western tanks and other weapons. But who would believe this? Only the Russian plebs.

Meanwhile, it has already been estimated that the enemy simply spent $120 million on this "hyperattack." And the world has also seen that to be afraid of Russian blackmail with the use of such weapons is to disrespect oneself.

A reputational blow to Russia is always an additional opportunity for Ukraine

"The Kremlin is trying hard to regain its subjectivity. This is what its "missile activity" is aimed at. Putin and his cronies have realized that they are in a time crunch. Either, as in a famous Soviet comedy, "they will either walk their daughter-in-law (Ukraine) down the aisle (take control or at least force her to agree to a long pause in the war)" or "they will end up in front of the prosecutor (at the Hague Tribunal)." That's why they are escalating the situation, that's why they are hitting with everything they have. Plus, they desperately need to deplete our air defense, ideally by hitting at least one Patriot missile launcher," diplomat Vadym Triukhan comments to Ukrinform.

However, the enemy fails to achieve the result. And this is a huge plus for Ukraine in general and the Armed Forces in particular.

"Such efficiency, which our military has recently shown, helps the state leadership and diplomats achieve greater results in working with partners to reach agreements on additional arms supplies," the expert says.

This is Volodymyr Fesenko, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Applied Political Studies "Penta": "How can all this be assessed in military and political terms? What does this mean for Ukraine, the West and Russia? It means that the vaunted "Kinzhals" can be successfully shot down, and that Ukrainian air defense is working more and more effectively."

According to him, this also means that modern Western air defense systems are effective and that our partners' decisions to supply them to Ukraine are correct.

"This is how we should continue to act. It is modern Western weapons that can help Ukraine win the war against Russia," the political scientist emphasizes. - "For Russia, this means that they have fewer and fewer opportunities to cause significant damage to Ukraine through air attacks. With the help of "Kinzhals" Moscow tried to neutralize the latest air defense systems in Ukraine, but these plans failed. This is another tangible defeat for Russia in this war."

Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political observer at the Information Resistance group, says that the downing of seven Kinzhals in total is a powerful reputational blow to Russia.

"The enemy's propaganda has spent years spreading myths about this missile. When the first Kinzhal was destroyed, Russian propaganda immediately began to deny it. They said it was a fake! How could it be otherwise, since the Kinzhal is a missile that "has no analogues in the world" and cannot be intercepted. And here is the first use of the Patriot missile system - destruction. Later, when the remains of the missile were shown, the Russians tried to parry by saying that it was not a "Kinzhal" but a concrete-piercing BETAB-500ShP bomb. However, with their fake about the downing of the BETAB-500ShP, they only confirmed the fact of the primitive design of the "Kinzhal", which uses the old Soviet bomb concept as the basis for the warhead, and everything is covered with a fairing on top of it," the military expert says.

After that, the Russian occupiers went through a phase of acceptance, saying that it was just an accident, that "beginners are lucky!" - the first time they used it, the first time they hit. Therefore, it should not be perceived as a disaster.

"The X-47M2 Kinzhal missiles are so valuable to the Russians that they don't just use them for nothing. That is, the objects they were supposed to hit in Kyiv were extremely important to the occupiers. In addition, the "Kinzhals" were provided with escort. Kalibr missiles, S-300, kamikaze drones... The enemy was trying to distract the attention of our air defense, divert it to secondary targets, thereby "clearing" the way for the Kinzhals. This, by the way, also indicates that the Russians themselves are no longer confident in the invulnerability of the X-47M2. Well, we have seen it again," Mr. Kovalenko added.

So no matter what the Kremlin's mouthpieces say, this is no longer about "luck" or "some unique case," but about the everyday.

"Russia has no missiles that can pose a 100% threat to Ukraine. Thus, by unsuccessfully hitting Ukraine with "Kinzhals," Russia is actually hitting itself. And the whole world sees this. This is nothing more than a powerful slap in the face - technical, technological and reputational," the analyst emphasized.

Economist Sergiy Fursa also emphasizes that the night of May 15-16 was not only a triumph for Ukrainian air defense, but also a complete disgrace for the Russian army. After the Ukrainian air defense system shot down the Kinzhal two weeks ago with the help of Patriot SAMs, Russian generals had two options.

The first way was to stop firing their Kinzhal at the places where Patriot air defense might be. And to say, as they did at first, that it was an accident, the missile was faulty, and it was just a bad day. And somehow leave doubts about the ability of American weapons to withstand the Russian super-duper "supersonic" missile.

The second way is to launch a massive bombardment, using more Kinzhals to hunt down the Patriot, break through the defense, and then tell everyone that the downing of the Kinzhal was an unfortunate accident. Moreover, no matter how expensive the Kinzhal is, the Patriot system is still more expensive. And the Russians were ready to exchange, say, three Kinzhal for one Patriot. But it was a risky scenario. When you put everything on the line at once, you are actually betting on the Russian "maybe".

"And the Russians put everything on the line. And they disgraced themselves again. The question of which technologies are stronger and whether Russian weapons are capable of competing with American systems has been put to rest," Mr. Fursa said.

"So if anyone in the Western world was still afraid of Russian weapons, now they should finally realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. And if anyone in the United States still doubted whether to give Ukraine the latest weapons, they have also received an answer.

"Each delivery of several billion dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine will bring hundreds of billions of dollars worth of orders for American arms corporations in the future. European manufacturers also see this. And so they are also motivated to push their government to provide Ukraine with more and more modern weapons. Which will destroy the remaining myths about the power of Russian weapons," the economist emphasized.

Kyiv has a missile defense system more effective than Israel's Iron Dome, but there is still room for improvement

According to Vadym Triukhan, the fact that the rashists have been shooting pumpkins over Kyiv for the eighth time since the beginning of the month indicates two things.

First of all, Russian miserable “army” screwed up in Ukraine.

"At the same time, its cardboard generals are completely incapable of changing the tactics and strategy of warfare. They fight, as they did during the First and Second World Wars, not with skill but with numbers. On the ground with live meat, and in the sky with everything that can fly," the diplomat says.

Secondly, the motivation of the Ukrainian military is so high that they are breaking all records for the speed of mastering any Western technology. The Patriot air defense system is a prime example.

"One can only imagine what the streets of Kyiv would look like today if it were not for the skill of our defenders. We should also pay tribute to the leadership of our country, as well as diplomats who managed to convince our de facto allies to provide modern air defense systems," added Mr. Triukhan.

In fact, he argues, not just an "Iron Dome" has been created over Kyiv. It is reinforced concrete and absolutely impenetrable for the racists.

But this is not enough.

"After all these attacks, it is imperative for Ukraine to scale up the experience of protecting Kyiv to the entire territory of Ukraine. And for this purpose, a lot of work will have to be done on the political and diplomatic front. We need dozens of batteries of Patriot and other similar systems. In addition, the issue of counteracting attack drones of Iranian and Russian origin remains relevant," Vadym Triukhan emphasizes.

Oleksandr Kovalenko believes that Kyiv has managed to create a high-level echelon air defense system of high efficiency. However, the air defense of the Ukrainian capital is not even close to being compared to the Iron Dome.

"The Dome is focused on targets of a completely different nature and purpose. The Israeli system destroys rather primitive missiles, i.e., these are not cruise or hypersonic missiles," the military expert said.

He reminded that Ukraine has already received Italian-French SAMP/T systems, which are in no way inferior to the American Patriot system.

"I hope that a defense system like the one in Kyiv will be implemented in every Ukrainian city with a population of over a million, and then a similar security buffer will be created to completely close the airspace in the directions from which Russia launches missiles and kamikaze drone attacks on Ukraine," says Mr. Kovalenko.

Volodymyr Fesenko also urges not to rush to conclusions. Today we can say that using the "Kinzhals", the Russians can only hit the capital of Ukraine.

"The air defense system in Kyiv is now working very effectively, and I am very grateful to its soldiers and commanders for that. However, Russian air attacks are now taking place almost every day in different regions of Ukraine, including the deep rear. It is noticeable that the Russians are now trying to hit warehouses and logistics centers in the first place. This is to reduce the potential of the Defense Forces of Ukraine to attack and liberate the occupied territories. In winter, the Russians destroyed Ukraine's energy system."

Therefore, Mr. Fesenko emphasizes, in the near future, in particular for the winter of 2023-24, it is necessary to create a nationwide air defense system with particularly reliable coverage of strategically important infrastructure, energy and logistics facilities: "A separate component of air defense is the creation of special tactics to counter drone attacks, as well as to enhance the effectiveness of the electronic warfare system."

All this is indeed very important. Given that the Russians are still capable of producing missile weapons.

"No one knows for sure how many missiles they have left. But they are producing them. At what pace depends, in particular, on the smuggling of components," says Oleksandr Kovalenko.

According to him, as of February, there was information on "Kalibr", saying that Russians can produce up to one missile per day.

"But they produce not only Kalibr, but also X-101, X-59, X-58, X-31 and other missiles. Of course, the volumes are far from what they were before February 24, 2022. At the same time, there is no reason to say that the Russians are allegedly running out of this type of weapon. So they will keep shooting at us until we win," Oleksandr Kovalenko summarized.

And we will win! Glory to Ukraine!

Myroslav Liskovych. Kyiv

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