'Unstoppable' Russian Missiles May Be Stoppable After All

Ukraine says it shot down volley of 6 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles overnight
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2023 7:26 AM CDT
'Unstoppable' Russian Missiles May Be Stoppable After All
In this photo made from footage on March 11, 2018, a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile flies during a test in southern Russia.   (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, File)

Overnight, Russia launched 18 missiles at Kyiv, six of them said to be "unstoppable" hypersonic Kinzhal missiles that travel at up to 10 times the speed of sound. Although people on the ground were said to be hurt by falling debris, Ukraine on Tuesday said it shot down all six—what would be a first in which the war-torn nation took out "an entire volley" of the missiles, per Reuters. If the interception claim from Ukraine's Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the head of the nation's armed forces known as the "Iron General," is true, it would be a big win for Western air defense systems. Zaluzhnyi says the missiles were launched from aircraft, while three Iskander missiles were launched from land, and nine Kalibr cruise missiles came from ships in the Black Sea, per the Telegraph.

"It was exceptional in its density—the maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time," Kyiv official Serhiy Popko said on the messaging app Telegram. Ukraine shot down a lone Kinzhal (Russian for "dagger") earlier this month, lending credence to some experts' belief that the missile isn't as unstoppable as claimed by Russia, per Insider. "Nothing is unstoppable. Nothing is perfect," said Tom Karako, head of the missile defense project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, at the time. "It turns out American hardware, including American air and missile defense hardware, is pretty good." (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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