Warplane shoots down Russian missile headed for Ukraine: Air Force

The Ukrainian Air Force said in a Facebook post translated by news week on Tuesday that shot down seven Russian missiles in the latest setback for President Vladimir Putin’s military.

Russia allegedly launched the missile strike from somewhere near the Caspian Sea around 5 pm local time on Tuesday using Tu-95 strategic bombers, the post read. In all, Ukraine said eight Cruise missiles were fired at central, southern and western Ukraine. But Ukraine shot down seven of the eight missiles, the publication said.

Six of them were “eliminated” by anti-aircraft missile forces, while one was shot down by an air force fighter jet, Ukraine said. The air force said the eighth missile hit an anti-aircraft missile complex in the Lviv region, adding that the army is continuing to assess the damage and casualties of the attack.

Ukraine has not released any further details, including the type of fighter jet used to shoot down the Russian missile. The target of the missiles is unknown. news week was unable to independently verify the Ukrainian Air Force report and has reached out to the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministries for comment.

Ukrainian warplane shoots down Russian missiles
Ukraine claimed to have shot down a Russian missile using a fighter jet on Tuesday as the countries continue to fight for control of eastern Ukraine. Above, a rocket is launched near Lugansk, in Ukraine’s Donbas region, on April 10, 2022.

Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, hoping to quickly take control of his Eastern European neighbor, whose army is much smaller than Russia’s. However, Russian troops were met with a stronger-than-expected response from Ukraine, which has since received aid from the West.

Putin attempted to justify the invasion by saying that he intended to “liberate” Donbas, a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine, and rid the Ukrainian government of the Nazis, despite the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.

After months of battles, Ukrainian soldiers have pushed the Russian army back into the easternmost part of the country. Battlefield fighting remains contracted in eastern Ukraine, although Russia continues to carry out attacks in other parts of the country.

The missiles allegedly shot down by Ukraine on Tuesday are the latest losses for the Russian military. Ukraine publishes its estimates of Russian losses every day. Ukraine said it has shot down 174 Russian cruise missiles in the more than five months of conflict. It has also destroyed 1,768 tanks, 223 planes, 15 ships and almost 3,000 other vehicles, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Russia does not publish its losses and Ukraine’s estimates cannot be independently verified.

On July 5, a video circulated on social media that appeared to show Ukraine shooting down six Russian missiles that were targeting the city of Dnipro.

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