Fighter Jet Shoots Down Russian Missile En route to Ukraine: Air Force

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

Russia is said to have launched the missile strike at 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday from somewhere near the Caspian Sea using strategic bombers from the Tu-95. In total, Ukraine said eight cruise missiles have been fired at central, southern and western Ukraine. But Ukraine shot down seven of the eight missiles, the post said.

Six of them were “eliminated” by anti-aircraft missiles, while one was shot down by an Air Force fighter jet, Ukraine said. The Air Force noted that the eighth missile hit an anti-aircraft missile complex in the Lviv region, adding that the military continues to assess damage and casualties from the attack.

More details, including the type of fighter jet used to disable the Russian missile, have not been released by Ukraine. The target of the missiles is unknown. News week was unable to independently verify the Ukrainian Air Force report and contacted the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministries for comment.

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

Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, hoping for a quick takeover of their Eastern European neighbor, whose army is much smaller than Russia’s. However, Russian forces received a stronger-than-expected response from Ukraine, which has since been aided by support from the West.

Putin tried to justify the invasion by saying its intent was to “liberate” the Donbas, a separatist region in eastern Ukraine, and free the Ukrainian government from Nazis, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.

After months of fighting, Ukrainian soldiers have pushed the Russian army back into the easternmost part of the country. The fighting on the battlefield remains tense in the eastern part of Ukraine, although Russia continues to carry out strikes elsewhere in the country.

The missiles reportedly 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 shot down 174 Russian cruise missiles in the more than five months of conflict. It also destroyed 1,768 tanks, 223 aircraft, 15 boats and nearly 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, videos circulated on social media that appeared to show Ukraine shooting down six Russian missiles aimed at the city of Dnipro.

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