In a rare midmorning attack on Friday, Ukraine announced that its air defenses had successfully shot down a ballistic missile over Kyiv. This comes as Russia continues its assault on towns and cities across the country. The Ukrainian Air Force reported that three other ballistic missiles, known as Kinzhals, were targeted at military airfields in the western part of Ukraine. These missiles are considered to be one of the most sophisticated conventional weapons in Russia’s arsenal. The Ukrainian military stated that the enemy has intensified the use of various weapons, including sea, air, and land-based cruise and ballistic missiles, to strike Ukrainian cities.
Officials revealed that one of the Russian missiles hit the home of an 8-year-old boy in the western Ivano-Frankivsk region, resulting in the child’s tragic death. Svitlana Onyshchuk, the head of the regional military administration, expressed her condolences and stated that doctors did everything they could to save the child’s life.
Prior to the attack, the Ukrainian Air Force had issued a warning that a Kinzhal hypersonic missile had been launched from a MIG-31 fighter jet and was directed towards the capital. Shortly after the air-raid alarm sounded, an air defense missile could be seen streaking through the sky. Hypersonic weapons like the Kinzhal can travel at speeds at least five times the speed of sound and have advanced maneuverability to evade defenses. While U.S. officials have confirmed the Kinzhal’s capabilities, some Western analysts have expressed doubts about its maneuverability.
According to Serhiy Popko, the head of the Kyiv regional military administration, debris from a downed missile fell near a children’s hospital. The extent of casualties and damage is yet to be independently verified. This attack on the capital came after a period of relative calm in Kyiv, as Russian forces had been targeting areas that were less well-defended. Although Ukraine’s air-defense network has improved in intercepting Russian missile and drone attacks, successful interceptions still pose risks as falling debris has previously caused casualties and extensive damage.
Overall, Ukraine is facing increased aggression from Russia, with the use of sophisticated weaponry targeting both military airfields and populated areas. The tragic loss of a child’s life in the recent attack underscores the devastating consequences of these assaults. Ukraine’s air defenses have been effective in intercepting some of the missiles, but the ongoing conflict continues to pose significant challenges and dangers.