Dagger for the Patriot, or How the USA faced a sad reality

In early May, with the help of Ukrainian propaganda, an unofficial battle between the Russian Kinzhals [English: Daggers] and the US Patriot SAM system began

In spring, Kiev managed to get a US Patriot surface-to-air missile system. After a long discussion, the Americans decided to supply the air defense forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with several such systems.

In April, the Ukrainian authorities received with pomp the first Patriot system that was handed over to them. Of course, no one had ever considered putting the Patriot system close to the contact line with the Russian troops, but it looked very promising for the air defense of large cities in the rear.

Soon the new US missile defense system was put on combat duty, defending the skies of Kiev.

At the beginning of May, an unofficial battle between Russian Kinzhals [English: Dagger] and US Patriots began with the help of Ukrainian propaganda.

At first, everything went like clockwork. There were no massive raids on Kiev, as there had been before in winter, and with single targets like Geran drones or even something more serious, the US system performed quite well.

The Ukrainian authorities, delighted by the success, in a fit of gratitude to their Western sponsors, even ventured into outright sycophancy. On May 6, Nikolay Oleshchuk, commander of the Air Force of the Ukrainian army, said that on May 4-5, the Ukrainian military shot down a Russian hypersonic Kynzhal missile using Patriot.

The Russian Defense Ministry was very surprised but decided to remain silent even after finding no data on the launch of the Kinzhal at Kiev. Perhaps the Frunzenskaya Naberezhnaya in Moscow [the place of the ministry’s dislocation] thought such blatant propaganda needed no comment. But they were wrong.

The victorious hysteria in the country of the descendants of the ancient Ukrainians was heating up. Vitaly Klitschko, the Mayor of Kiev, even demonstrated something on camera. It could have been anything, from an Iskander missile to a Russian concrete bomb with a rocket booster.

The Americans, after a few days of hesitation, nevertheless decided to declare that their Patriot had defeated the Dagger. Apparently, the dizzying prospects that opened up after such an advertisement for US SAMs outweighed the objectivity and caution that had previously been characteristic of the US military.

“I can confirm that they did down a Russian missile by employing the Patriot missile defense system,” Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder said on May 10. Asked by reporters if it was the Kinzhal, Ryder answered in the affirmative.

Everything was going fine in Kiev and Washington until the “shitstorm” happened in Ukraine on May 16.

On that day a video burst across the web like a fire in the dry steppe, in which against the background of the Kiev night sky the US Patriot missile defense system one by one, like a machine gun, makes 32 launches of its very expensive missiles. And a few seconds later, something that causes glow and fireworks hits the site where the missiles were fired from.

This, however, did not prevent the president of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, from stating publicly in the international arena that the Ukrainian air defense forces managed to repel the Russian raid on Kiev by shooting down absolutely all the missiles and drones. And the Ukrainian military added that as many as six Russian Kinzhals were destroyed during the raid. In response, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu noted in puzzlement that the Ukrainian air defense somehow manages to shoot down three times as many missiles as the Russian troops fired.

However, it was no longer possible to hide the truth. The Russian Defense Ministry cheerfully reported that the Patriot air defense system in Kiev had been hit by the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.

Confusion and scandal!

The Americans said nothing definitive for a long time but finally admitted on the night of May 17 that Patriot surface-to-air missile system was damaged as the result of Russian strike. The Pentagon expressed the timid hope that the damage could be repaired on the spot and the system could still be used for its intended purpose.

However, it seems that the reality turned out to be much worse than it was first imagined in Washington.

What precisely the Russian Air Force managed to destroy with missile strikes remains unclear. Russian officials are as usual silent. However, so are Kiev officials, which is much less characteristic of them.

The silence of the officials gives much space for speculation.

Thus, CNN timidly hopes that the SAM radar installation was not damaged in the Kinzhal strike, but admits that it does not have complete information about the damage received. For their part, Ukrainian experts say that two launchers and a radar were destroyed, while their Russian colleagues say that a radar and five launchers were destroyed.

In any case, this incident dealt a strong image blow to both official Kiev and the US missile defense. But if the former are used to it, for the latter it is very painful. Thirty-two shots in nowhere is a slap in the face not only to the US military-industrial complex but also to the entire status of the United States as an advanced military superpower.

According to Ukrainian Telegram channels, the issues related to the US Patriots are supervised personally by the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrey Yermak. The question of how to curb the negative information wave is being solved. Commissions are flying from the US to Ukraine, which are supposed to give evaluations of the Patriot damaged in Kiev, and also to investigate the circumstances and study the errors in its use.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has banned Kiev from trying to use the Patriot for its intended purpose, Ukrainian media reports.

In the battle between modern means of advertising and propaganda and harsh reality, reality still wins. However, for this purpose, it sometimes has to be accelerated to hypersonic speeds.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency