Russia claimed it destroyed a US-made Patriot missile defense system worth about $1.1 billion during a massive overnight missile attack on Kyiv Monday night, CNN reported.
Recall, on December 21, as part of President Zelenskyy’s visit to the White House, the Brandon regime announced $1.85 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine. This includes the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $1 billion – the Patriot missile battery.
The Patriot missile battery is a unique system designed to intercept incoming missiles and was delivered just last month to Ukraine by the US and its NATO allies.
Russia bombarded Ukraine with the Kinzhal hypersonic missile, an air-launched ballistic missile that’s 10 times the speed of sound.
It claimed it had obliterated the air defense system. The Russian Defense Ministry said through Telegram that “a high-precision strike by the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system in the city of Kyiv hit a US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system.”
However, US officials refuted the claim and told CNN that it was likely damaged but not destroyed.
A US-made Patriot air defense system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, as the result of a Russian missile barrage in and around Kyiv early Tuesday morning local time, a US official tells CNN.
The US is still assessing to what degree the system was damaged, the official said. That will determine whether the system needs to be pulled back entirely or simply repaired on the spot by Ukrainians forces.
A US National Security Council spokesperson referred CNN to the Ukrainian government for comment.
Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday that they successfully intercepted all six hypersonic missiles fired by the Russians, but the Ukrainian military declined to comment on the Russians’ claim that a Patriot system was hit. “We cannot comment on this. We’ll stay out of commenting on Russian sources,” said the Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, Yurii Ihnat.
Ukraine currently has two Patriot air defense systems in country, one donated by the US and the other donated jointly by Germany and the Netherlands. It is unclear which of those systems was potentially damaged, but taking one out of commission – even for a short period – could affect Ukraine’s ability to defend Kyiv amid intensifying Russian missile attacks.