Earlier today, Russia launched a significant missile attack on Ukraine's capital Kyiv, using cruise and hypersonic missiles. Fortunately, of the 18 missiles fired, the Ukrainian defense forces managed to shoot down all of them, using NATO-supplied air defense systems. One anti-missile fragment that fell back to ground was identified as a piece of a Patriot missile, the U.S.'s premier missile defense weapon. From the Associated Press:
"Loud explosions boomed over Kyiv as the nighttime attack combined Russian missiles launched from the air, sea and land in an apparent attempt to overwhelm Ukraine’s air defenses. No casualties were reported as Western-supplied weapons helped fend off the assault.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov cheered the display of defensive prowess, calling it in a tweet 'another unbelievable success.' [snip]
The overnight attack on Kyiv was 'exceptional in its density — the maximum number of attacking missiles in the shortest period of time,' said Serhii Popko, the head of the Kyiv military administration. [snip]
It was the eighth time this month that Russian air raids had targeted the capital, a clear escalation after weeks of lull and ahead of a much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Six 'Kinzhal' aero-ballistic missiles were launched from MiG-31K aircraft, nine cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-based S-400 cruise missiles targeted the capital, air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said in a statement on Telegram." (our emphasis)
We often focus our attention on the offensive weapons being provided to Ukraine: tanks, armored vehicles, rocket artillery, etc. The missile defense side of NATO's support is equally important, even more to the civilian population that the Kremlin is trying to terrorize and demoralize in these attacks. It's a signal that war criminal Putin and his military are desperate, attacking civilian targets rather than military targets on the battlefield, where they're being defeated. They know a long-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive is coming, and each day Ukrainian forces are becoming stronger with the infusion of NATO weaponry and training.
(photo: Ukraine intercepts incoming missile over Kyiv. Gleb Garanich/Reuters)