Ukraine's defense minister confident of air defense capabilities against Russia

Ukraine's defense minister has expressed confidence about countering Russian missile attacks with weapons provided by partner countries.

Oleksii Reznikov referred to the military's announcement that on Tuesday the air force and air defense systems shot down all 18 missiles fired by Russia targeting capital Kyiv and other locations.

The announcement said the missiles included six Kinzhal missiles, which Russia says are hypersonic.

The defense minister tweeted, "Another unbelievable success for the Ukrainian Air Forces!"

The Ukrainian air force had previously said it lacked the ability to defend against Kinzhal missiles. But it said on May 6 that it had downed the missile for the first time.

Russia's defense ministry said on Tuesday that a Kinzhal missile had hit a Patriot surface-to-air missile system in Kyiv.

But a spokesperson for the Ukrainian air force brushed off the announcement, saying the military would not comment on claims by Russian sources.

Ukraine's army commander, Oleksandr Syrskii, noted that his forces will go on the counterattack in the defense of Bakhmut, a site of intense fighting in eastern Ukraine. He described members of Russia's private army Wagner Group, who are fighting in Bakhmut, as trapped mice.

Ukraine's deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, said in a social media post on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces have captured some enemy positions in the north and south of the suburbs of Bakhmut.

But she said fighting for control over the city is as fierce as ever, and noted that the Russian side has destroyed the city with artillery and is introducing professional paratroopers.