Olexander Scherba, a resident and author of the book “Kyiv: The Battle for Freedom”, said that it sounded like “the biggest missile assault on Kyiv.” “Our air defense is busy, busy busy,” said Olexander Scherba, an author and resident of Kyiv.
The damage to the city appears to be limited, even though it was attacked by six advanced Russian Kinzhal missiles (Moscow calls them “unstoppable”), nine Kalibr cruise missiles launched from sea, three Iskander M missiles, and half a dozen Iranian Shahed drones.
Serhiy Pokkosaid, the chief of the Kyiv Military Administration, wrote on Telegram Tuesday that the attack was “exceptional in its density” — it had the most attacking missiles fired in the shortest time possible. The Solomiansky district was the scene of the most serious destruction caused by falling debris. A non-residential structure and several cars were set ablaze. Another source reported that the fire had been extinguished.
Massive number of outgoing Ukrainian SAMs during tonight’s Russian air raid on Kyiv. pic.twitter.com/G0sahlmTZo
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) May 16, 2023
Rob Lee, a military analyst who is well-informed and sharp and is apolitical, concluded last night, “Clearly, Russia fired a variety of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles from different directions in order to confuse Ukrainian air defenses.” However, Kyiv claimed to have shot them all down.
Naturally, Russian sources dispute this claim.
Watch this video to see Kyiv’s rapid-fire air defenses in action:
At least 20 air defense missiles were launched from #kyiv over a 2 minute timespan. pic.twitter.com/UsV0VsMbK3
— cameron (@csm231_) May 16, 2023
The Russian Defense Ministry called it a “concentrated attack with long-range, high-precision air and sea-based weapons” today to destroy “military hardware delivered from Western nations.” Moscow claimed to have destroyed a Patriot MIM-104 anti-air/anti-missile battery. The Patriot’s modern versions are more successful, so it is possible that the attack on Monday was aimed at destroying the Patriot battery.
Local sources have disputed Moscow’s claim that it destroyed an antimissile Patriot battery supplied by the United States via Twitter. Ukraine “refused to comment.”
This video shows what Moscow claims to be the Patriot system.
The official representative of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yuriy Ignat, refused to comment on reports of the destruction of the American Patriot air defense system in Kiev. pic.twitter.com/X2WHTl7wFI
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) May 16, 2023
Radar is at the heart of Patriot batteries. It’s a big blow if that is destroyed. It is easier and cheaper to replace a missile launcher that has been destroyed.
The blitz on Monday night was likely launched as a sign of force after Kyiv had scored its first strikes with Storm Shadow cruise missiles made in the UK over the weekend.