Ukraine Situation Report: Spent Patriot Missile Narrowly Misses Kyiv Motorists

New video shows the air defense munition falling between cars during Monday’s Russian cruise and ballistic missile barrage on Kyiv.

byHoward Altman|
Motorists in Kyiv narrowly missed death when a missile fell Monday.
(Photo by Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)


New video emerged on social media Wednesday showing several motorists in downtown Kyiv narrowly avoiding death or serious injury when a piece of a missile struck a busy highway Monday.

The video, from a dash camera on a vehicle traveling the four-lane highway, shows a missile section falling from the sky and hitting a traffic light before crashing on the roadway between two vehicles. Debris from the traffic light and the missile can be seen flying toward the camera. Seconds later, black smoke billows from a small fire in the roadway.

According to a timestamp on the video, the incident took place at 11:22 A.M., which was during another large Russian missile barrage, the 17th such event in May, according to Ukrainian officials.

The missile in the video appears to be a Patriot PAC-3 CRI interceptor based on detailed imagery posted by Getty Images of the missile fragment being collected. The missile is a hit-to-kill type that does not detonate as part of its intercept sequence. Exactly where it would fall is hard to predict after it slams into an incoming enemy missile.

Police experts load fragments of a missile into a car after Russia fired a barrage of missiles for the second time in 24 hours, in an unusual daytime attack on the Ukrainian capital following overnight strikes on May 29, 2023. (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
The tail section of a PAC-3 CRI interceptor. (DOD)

Another view of the impact taken by a security camera in the area has also emerged. It shows the missile hit the traffic light, then the ground, and spewed debris as a bicyclist crossed the intersection.

Ukraine’s Air Force on Monday said that 11 Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles and Iskander-K cruise missiles attacked the city from the north and that all were destroyed.

"Only six hours after the night attack, the aggressor country again launched a missile attack on Kyiv,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, also known by its Ukrainian acronym, KMVA, said on his Telegram channel Monday. 

In this attack, the Russians “changed tactics,” Popko said. 

“After long, exclusively nocturnal attacks, he struck a peaceful city during the day, when most of the residents were at work and on the streets. That is, the Rashists clearly demonstrate that they are aiming at the destruction of the civilian population.”

People take shelter in a Kyiv metro station during a missile attack on May 29. (Photo by Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

No one was killed but one person was injured during the attack, said Popko, adding that "no objects in Kyiv" were hit by the incoming missiles.

In addition to the video of the missile hitting the roadway, images have emerged which may show a strike on the headquarters of the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate (GUR). There was also video, which you can see below, of a missile hitting the Dnipro River near that headquarters.

And there was also chatter that Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov was killed during that strike. You can read more about Budanov, who notoriously sleeps in his office, in our exclusive interview here.

Wednesday, GUR spokesman Andrii Yusov told The War Zone that the building was hit by falling debris, but there were no injuries and operations there continue. Budanov, he added, “is in full order!”

Ukraine's donated Patriot systems have provided tremendous protection against Russia's cruise and ballistic missiles. But air defenses are not only imperfect, they can cause their own damage as well.

This is likely not the last time we will see something like this, something Yusov indicated in a recent interview with the Kyiv Post.

Before we head into the latest updates from Ukraine, The War Zone readers can catch up on our previous rolling coverage here.

The Latest

The governor of Russia's Krasnodar Oblast claims another Ukrainian drone attack on an oil refinery in his region.

“In the Seversky district, a fire on the territory of the Afipsky refinery [erupted],” Veniamin Kondratiev said on his Telegram channel Wednesday. “One of the fuel oil distillation units is on fire. The preliminary reason is the arrival of the UAV.”

There were no casualties and the fire was eventually distinguished.

He did not mention how much damage the attack caused.

The Pentagon officially announced the latest package of security assistance to Ukraine on Wednesday. The 39th Presidential Drawdown Authority package, worth up to $300 million, includes munitions for unmanned aerial systems and precision aerial munitions. We asked the Pentagon for details on both, including whether the UAV munitions are Mk118 submunitions from U.S. Mk20 Rockeye cluster bombs, but as of Wednesday afternoon, they've declined to provide any additional information. You can read more about those here.

We will update this story with any details provided.

The U.S. has previously provided Ukraine with Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, air-launched precision-guided weapons, which the Ukrainian Air Force confirmed in March that it was using.

The package also includes, as we mentioned yesterday, AIM-7 missiles that will be used by Ukraine's Buk-M1 air defense systems.

In addition to those items, the full package contains

  • Additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems;
  • Avenger air defense systems;
  • Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
  • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds;
  • 105mm tank ammunition;
  • Zuni aircraft rockets;
  • AT-4 anti-armor systems;
  • Over 30 million rounds of small arms ammunition;
  • Mine clearing equipment and systems;
  • Demolition munitions for obstacle clearing;
  • Night vision devices;
  • Spare parts, generators, and other field equipment.

In total, the U.S. has committed more than $38.3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including more than $37.6 billion since the beginning of Russia’s all-out war, according to the Pentagon.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff on Wednesday touted a weapon of its own - the “Nightmare Vehicle.” It's a Grad-P 122mm multiple launch rocket system launcher attached to the back of a pickup, according to a Ukrainian defense official we spoke with.

“War is mobile and whoever responds quickly to the needs of battle has an advantage,” according to the General Staff Facebook page. “We now have a tool to nightmare the enemy at a new level: at distance, sudden and painfully.”

The vehicle “is extremely mobile and compact, almost elusive to enemy drones, and, with the presence of accurate intelligence, able to deliver an effective missile strike on the enemy... It's not a big and powerful campfire system, but small machines like this give the enemy a moment's relaxation by hitting places where invaders least expect it.”

The system is problematic, however, the Ukrainian defense official told The War Zone.

“I don’t think there is anything similar at least of Soviet Union design,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the weapon. “The larger problem with this system is that we have a substantial deficit of 122mm MLRS munitions. So I don’t think it will shoot often.”

Though the U.S. alone has provided 60,000 Grad 122mm rockets, that's just a fraction of the amount used by Ukraine.

The Ukrainian "Nightmare Vehicle." (Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff photo)

While Ukraine is making good use of its donated Patriot system to down incoming threats, its troops are also using small arms as well. This video below, posted on the Ukrainian Air Force Facebook page, purports to show Ukrainian troops taking out a Russian Lancet loitering munition with assault rifles. In general, it's a desperate move to try and down a Lancet with small arms, but given how many the Russians have used, sometimes that's the only way to try and defeat them.

Anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) remain a dangerous weapon on the battlefield, as you can see in this video below of a Russian T-80BVM tank likely targeted by one.

Ukrainian artillery also continues to blast Russian armor, as you can see in this video below of a Russian MT-LB armored personnel carrier being destroyed in Luhansk Oblast.

More images of the U.S.-donated Bradley Fighting Vehicles have emerged in Ukraine. The U.S. has promised Ukraine 109 M2 variants and four B-FIST variants, many of which have already been delivered. You can read more about what they bring to the table in our deep dive here.

One thing not seen frequently in the skies over Ukraine is a four-flight of its military helicopters, which you can watch in this video below.

In a small event sadly symbolic of this conflict, the Russians tried to blow up a section of the Chernihiv-Bryansk road along the Ukrainian-Belarusian-Russian border. As you can see in this video below, it narrowly missed the "Three Sisters" monument, dedicated to the friendship between the three nations.

Video thumbnail

And finally, Ukrainians continue to find small ways to make this all-out war a little easier to deal with, as is the case with these chocolates formed in the shape of "hedgehog" barriers.

That's it for now. We'll update this story when there's more news to report about Ukraine.

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