The Ukrainian Air Force said in a Facebook post translated by Newsweek on Tuesday that it shot down seven Russian missiles in the latest setback for President Vladimir Putin’s military.
Russia allegedly launched the missile attack from somewhere near the Caspian Sea at about 5 pm local time Tuesday using Tu-95 strategic bombers, the post read. In total, Ukraine said that eight Cruise missiles were fired toward central, southern and western Ukraine. But Ukraine shot down seven out of the eight missiles, the post 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 noted that the eighth missile struck an anti-aircraft missile complex in the Lviv region, adding that the military continues to assess damages and victims of the strike.
More details, including the type of fighter jet used to knock out the Russian missile, have not been released by Ukraine. The target of the missiles is unknown. Newsweek was unable to independently verify the report from the Ukrainian Air Force and reached out to the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministries for comment.
Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, hoping for a quick takeover of their eastern European neighbor, whose military is much smaller than Russia’s. However, Russian troops were met with a stronger than expected response from Ukraine, which has since been aided by support from the West.
Putin attempted to justify the invasion by saying it was intended to “liberate” the Donbas, a separatist region in eastern Ukraine, and to rid the Ukrainian government of Nazis, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.
After months of battles, Ukrainian soldiers have pushed the Russian military back to the easternmost part of the country. Battlefield fighting remains contracted within the eastern part of Ukraine, though Russia continues to conduct strikes elsewhere in the country.
The missiles allegedly shot down by Ukraine on Tuesday are the latest losses for the Russian military. Ukraine each day publishes its estimates of Russian losses. Ukraine said it has shot down 174 Russian Cruise missiles in the five-plus months of conflict. It also has destroyed 1,768 tanks, 223 aircraft, 15 boats and nearly 3,000 other vehicles, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Russia does not publish its losses and Ukraine’s estimates cannot be independently verified.
On July 5, video circulated on social media that appeared to show Ukraine shoot down six Russian missiles targeting the city of Dnipro.