Several of Vladimir Putin’s ‘undefeatable’ Killjoy ballistic missiles shot down by Ukraine, says UK

Explosion of a missile seen in the sky over Kyiv on May 16  (REUTERS)
Explosion of a missile seen in the sky over Kyiv on May 16 (REUTERS)

Several “KILLJOY” Russian ballistic missiles hailed by Vladimir Putin as “undefeatable” have been shot down by Ukraine, British defence chiefs said on Wednesday.

They also highlighted an “intensified air battle” over the Russia-Ukraine border.

The Russian air force has lost a series of aircraft in recent days.

In its latest intelligence update, the Ministry of Defence in London said: “Over the last week, the air battle over the Russia-Ukraine border has intensified.

“On 13 May 2023 alone, four Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) aircraft (two advanced combat jets and two helicopters) crashed, apparently shot down over Russia’s Bryansk region.”

The briefing added: “On 03 May 2023, Ukraine achieved the first ever shoot-down of a KILLJOY air-launched ballistic missile. Subsequently, Russia has prioritised attempting to neutralise Ukraine’s improved air defence capabilities, but in the process has likely lost several more KILLJOY.”

It also stressed: “The increased air threat over Russia’s border region will be of exceptional concern for the VKS because it uses the area to launch air power in support of the war.

“The apparent vulnerability of KILLJOY is likely a surprise and an embarrassment for Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin has touted the system as undefeatable.”

Britain has led the West in arming Ukraine, and UK Storm Shadow long range cruise missiles have recently been unleashed by Kyiv forces.

The UK, US, Ukraine and other allies are fighting an information war against Russia, so their briefings need to be treated with caution, but are far more believable than the propaganda issued by the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, the last ship left a port in Ukraine on Wednesday under a deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain.

The DSM Capella left the port of Chornomorsk carrying 30,000 tons of corn was on its way to Turkey, according to data issued by the United Nations.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the Black Sea deal for an initial 120 days in July last year to help tackle a global food crisis that has been aggravated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain exporters.

Moscow agreed to extend the Black Sea pact for a further 120 days in November, but then in March it agreed to a 60 day extension - until May 18 - unless a list of demands regarding its own agricultural exports was met.

To convince Russia in July to allow Black Sea grain exports, the United Nations agreed at the same time to help Moscow with its own agricultural shipments for three years.

“There are still a lot of open questions regarding our part of the deal. Now a decision will have to be taken,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday, according to Russian media.