A gripping video shared on social media platforms documented a nerve-wracking incident in downtown Kyiv, where several vehicles narrowly escaped tragedy when a missile fragment unexpectedly struck a busy highway on May 29.
The footage was captured by the dash camera of a car traveling on the highway, and it depicts a missile part slamming between two cars after falling from the sky and striking a traffic light.
In the recorded video, fragments of the traffic signal and missiles can be seen headed toward the camera’s direction. Police retrieved the fragments for subsequent examination as part of their investigation.
Based on the timestamp indicated in the video, the incident occurred at 11:22 am. The timing of the incident aligns with a highly unusual recent daytime missile barrage launched by Russia at Kyiv on May 29.
Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, reported that Ukraine successfully intercepted and shot down a total of 11 cruise and ballistic missiles on that day.
⚡️Footage of the fall of debris from a supposed PAC-3 CRI interceptor missile of the MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3 anti-aircraft missile system onto a busy road in Kyiv on May 29. pic.twitter.com/RWwjlmSETi
— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) May 31, 2023
Many Twitter users have also widely shared another view of the impact, captured by a security camera in the vicinity. The footage shows the missile striking the traffic light, subsequently hitting the ground and dispersing debris.
Nonetheless, the missile fragment collected from the scene and information emerging on the internet suggest that the video features a Patriot PAC-3 CRI interceptor.
As previously reported by the EurAsian Times, the missile has the hit-to-kill capability, which would be required to intercept a Kinzhal-type ballistic missile. The missile does not explode during the intercept procedure.
Meanwhile, visuals purporting to show an attack on the GUR (Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate) headquarters have also emerged online.
Nonetheless, since May 1, there has been a significant escalation in Russian military activities targeting Ukraine, specifically Kyiv. Russian forces have conducted a total of 17 airstrikes during this period, utilizing a combination of long-range missiles and Iranian kamikaze drones.
As the possibility of a Ukrainian counterattack gains momentum, the aggressive actions by Russian forces have escalated even further.
Patriot Air Defense System In Ukraine
Since their deployment, Ukraine’s donated air defense systems have effectively defended Kyiv against Russia’s cruise and ballistic missiles.
Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, which Moscow once claimed were invincible, have also allegedly been shot down by Ukrainian authorities using this weapon.
Yet, Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, claimed that Russian forces have successfully targeted a Patriot missile defense system in Kyiv in “recent days.”
However, Ukraine has refuted Russia’s assertion of destroying a Patriot air defense battery.
Ukrainian troops have effectively utilized the donated Patriot system to intercept incoming threats.
Meanwhile, in addition to relying on advanced defense systems, Ukrainian forces have also resorted to using small arms.
A video shared on the Ukrainian Air Force Facebook page purportedly demonstrates Ukrainian troops using assault rifles to neutralize a Russian Lancet loitering munition.
Although employing small arms against such munitions is generally considered a desperate measure, the widespread usage of Lancets by Russian forces has compelled Ukrainian troops to resort to this method to counter the threat.
That said, on May 30, the Pentagon announced a fresh arms package worth $300 million for Ukraine, encompassing a range of military equipment, such as air defense systems, and a substantial quantity of ammunition comprising tens of millions of rounds.
According to the Defense Department, the announced shipments will raise the total worth of US security assistance provided to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022 to US$37.6 billion.
In a statement, the Pentagon emphasized its commitment to collaborating with allies and partners to provide Ukraine with the necessary capabilities to address immediate battlefield necessities and long-term security assistance requirements.
These arms shipments coincide with Ukraine’s preparations for a counter-offensive strategy, specifically designed to reclaim occupied areas in the eastern and southern regions of the country by pushing back Russian forces.
As per the Pentagon, the US$300 million arms package encompasses various munitions essential for multiple defense systems. These include ammunition for Patriot air defense systems, AIM-7 air defense missiles, Avenger air defense systems, and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
The package includes ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, 105mm tank ammunition, and Zuni aircraft rockets.