Ukraine military says its air defense systems shot down Russian Kinzhal missiles

Russian forces have been intensifying air and missile attacks on Ukraine, as Kyiv is set to launch a counteroffensive.

Russia conducted intensive airstrikes on Ukraine's capital Kyiv and other locations on Tuesday. Ukraine's military said its air defense systems shot down Russian Kinzhal missiles which Moscow says are hypersonic.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the countries that provided Patriot surface-to-air defense systems and other weapons to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy reaffirmed Ukraine's resolve to increase its defense against acts of terrorism along with other nations. He sought further aid from Western countries to counter Russian attacks.

The Russian defense ministry has denied Ukraine's claims of successfully intercepting the air attacks. It said its forces destroyed a Ukrainian Patriot battery with a Kinzhal missile.

The British defense ministry said on Wednesday that the air battle over the Russia-Ukraine border has intensified over the last week. It said Ukraine achieved its first ever shoot-down of a Kinzhal missile on May 3.

The ministry said that subsequently, Russia has prioritized attempting to neutralize Ukraine's improved air defense capabilities, but in the process has likely lost several more Kinzhals.

It said the apparent vulnerability of the Kinzhal system is likely a surprise and embarrassment for Russia, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has touted it as undefeatable.