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Ukraine Fails to Defend Against Russia’s Kh-22 Missile

Ukraine's air force has admitted that they have no capabilities to shoot down Kh-22 missiles fired by Russia, which have caused immense destruction in the country. Kh-22 missiles can be outfitted with a nuclear element and have earned the moniker of an "aircraft carrier killer." Ukraine is now relying on its allies to provide air defense systems to protect its citizens.

Ukraine’s air force command has recently admitted that the country does not have a defense against the Kh-22 missile fired at a nine-story building in Dnipro which reduced many floors to smoldering debris. The Kh-22 is an anti-ship missile in the Russian inventory that has, over time, earned the moniker of an “aircraft carrier killer” and can be equipped with a nuclear element. Ukrainian Spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Ihnat said, “There is no explanation or justification for this terrorist act.” During the widespread missile attacks that caused mammoth destruction, five Kh-22 cruise missiles were launched from five Tu-22M3 long-range Russian bombers. Later, more missiles were fired from the Sea of Azov and the Kursk Oblast in Russia and at around 3:30 pm on January 14, one of the Kh-22 missiles struck a tall residential structure in the city of Dnipro. The Armed Forces of Ukraine then admitted that they have no firepower capable of shooting down this type of missile. Earlier in May, a brief social media video clip offered the first glimpse of the Russian Tu-22M3 bomber engaged in combat during the crisis in Ukraine. Two missiles were released quickly in the night-time scenario, which was captured from the pilot’s seat before they climbed to cruising altitude. The incident also saw the launch of the Kh-22 series supersonic cruise missiles. The missile’s launch location, height, and speed were all roughly picked up by Ukrainian radar, but it could not shoot down. The Kh-22 can vary from its intended target by hundreds of meters yet has a maximum range of up to 600 kilometers. The United States and Germany have each announced a PAC-3 Patriot missile defense battery for Ukraine, and Italy has also agreed to send the cutting-edge SAMP-T air defense system. However, Ukraine’s identification system is advanced enough to recognize the approaching missiles as Kh-22, they have yet to shoot one down successfully. Russia’s aggression has resulted in more than 210 missiles of this type being launched at the territory of Ukraine, and the nation has to rely on the support of its allies in order to acquire the necessary air defense systems to protect its citizens.

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