US-made ‘hit-to-kill’ type interceptor falls among cars in Kyiv

On May 29, Russia carried out double air missile strikes on Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Double, because early in the morning, in the dark, the Russian army carried out the first missile attack on Kyiv. Later that day, but already when people were at work, a second rocket attack followed.

Two days later, on May 31, photos and videos of a falling rocket began to emerge. Initially, the information was contradictory. Later, however, a thorough analysis of the fragments from the falling missile was identified as a Patriot PAC-3 CRI interceptor.

The video shows midday traffic in Kyiv on a four-lane road, part of the city’s road infrastructure. At one point, a rocket can be seen falling vertically at a 90-degree angle between two cars. Debris flies and lands on the windshield of this car that is actually recording the video.

The two vehicles between which the PAC-3 CRI interceptor fell were damaged, but no one was injured. The video also shows the rocket falling between the two cars as they pass a traffic light. It is the impact of the rocket with the cables of the traffic light and the traffic light itself that soften the wintering, reducing the speed of the fall of the rocket.

Why didn’t the rocket explode?

'Hit-to-kill' type US-made interceptor falls among cars in Kyiv
Photo credit: Getty Images

Ukrainian military later arrived at the scene and removed the wreckage from the interceptor. Although a small fire breaks out as soon as the rocket hits the ground, some users are wondering why the rocket didn’t explode.

This is not the entire PAC-3 CRI missile. This is a part of it also known as hit-to-kill. I.e. as the name suggests, the missile intercepts the enemy missile and destroys it by hitting it directly. In this way, only charges in the enemy missile are ignited. I.e. hit-to-kill does not detonate as part of interception.

On that day, Ukrainian authorities reported that the Russian military had fired 11 Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles and Iskander-K cruise missiles. The attack came from the north. According to Kyiv, all the missiles were intercepted.

A second Patriot was ‘destroyed’

On May 30, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced that the Russian Armed Forces had destroyed a second Patriot system that had been donated to Ukraine. This information was released by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Following the date of Shoigu’s statement, it is most likely that he is talking about these missile attacks carried out on May 29th. However, Shoigu did not specify whether this was the case, only mentioning “missile attacks in recent days”.

This is the second Patriot system that has been targeted by the Russian Armed Forces. On May 16, Russia said it destroyed a Patriot air defense system in the early morning attack. Ukraine later did not deny the news, but said the system was not destroyed and could be repaired and put back into operation. The same information was released by Washington.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, Russia claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility. Russia claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers. They tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

Ukrainian military master the Patriot air-defense system in Germany
Photo credit: German MoD

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, a “special military operation” can only take place after a UN resolution. There is no such resolution. So this is an invasion and war against Ukraine.


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