A curious video of the night defense of Kyiv is being shared on the web. The video appears to have been recorded by a civilian surveillance camera. The footage is from early this morning [May 16th, 2:07am] and tracks the operation of an anti-aircraft missile system.
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It appears that Kyiv was under an aerial missile attack. Between the buildings, the Army Forces of Ukraine [AFU] have deployed the air defense system. The video shows the gradual firing of at least 30 missiles [plus or minus one or two] at an aerial target.
The rockets are fired initially at roughly equal intervals. After a certain period, the air defense system[s] start firing missiles more intensively. At some point, the anti-aircraft system stops firing missiles.
And when one thinks that everything is over at the place where the air defense system is supposed to be deployed, a big explosion goes off. Seconds later, smoke began to rise from the site of the explosion.
Patriot or something else?
The first comments from pro-Russian web users are that the Russians hit the Patriot air defense system after it stopped air defense. At the moment, BulgarianMilitary.com cannot confirm such information.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Ukraine has several air defense systems – such as stationary deployed batteries and mobile ones. Besides Patriot, Ukraine operates IRIS-T, NASAMS, and S-300. Whether any of these batteries were hit at all cannot be confirmed at this time.
There is one more system in Ukraine, but according to the local publication Ukrainska Pravda, it arrived a few hours ago. This is the Franco-Italian SAMP/T system and is the first to be delivered to Ukraine.
Official Kyiv confirmed the airstrike early this morning. According to the city administration, quoted by Ukrainska Pravda, the Russian armed forces carried out a massive air attack from all sides with cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as kamikaze drones.
Official Kyiv confirms that the air defense forces are operating in the Boryspil region. Whether the shared video is from this area – BulgarianMilitary.com cannot confirm.
A part of the missiles and drones have been shot down, they say in Kyiv. But the rest have managed to hit various city positions. Cars have been destroyed, rocket fragments have fallen into the zoo, and there are also burning buildings.
If it was a Patriot SAM
There is no official information from Ukraine that an air defense system was destroyed. For now. However, if we assume that it was the Patriot, we can draw the following conclusion.
First, the extremely dense work of erasing interceptor missiles is visible. I.e. the system can respond to multiple air attacks, not just one air target.
Second, the Ukrainians fired nearly 120 million USD within a minute and a half. Assuming there are 30 missiles fired, each one costs an average of $4 million. We don’t know how many missiles the Patriot SAM shot down in this particular instance.
Could a Russian missile hit the Patriot?
Outside of the reasoning behind the shared video and our assumptions about it, yes – a Russian missile could hit the Patriot. And not just a rocket.
For at least the last two years, the Patriots haven’t been doing so well. In Iraq, for example, in one of the traditional attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad, there was a case in which the Patriot intercepted three missiles, but missed the other three.
The Aramco oil refinery, which was also attacked by pro-Iranian groups two years ago, was attacked by kamikaze drones and missiles. Realistically, however, the Patriot was not designed to handle drones. The Patriot must provide protection against cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and fighter jets.
A Russian missile could hit the Patriot. Especially in the specific case from the video. Why? Because with dense and intensive work, the Patriot can be localized much more easily. Likewise, the Patriot’s radar also emits signals that can be picked up by enemy missiles. Third, it is not a mobile system, which means that once deployed it is impossible to re-localize in a few seconds.
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.
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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