In his daily address Friday, the president of Ukraine thanked military personnel in southern Ukraine “who are holding their ground and destroying the occupier day after day.”
“These days,” Volodomyr Zelenskyy said, “Russian losses are really impressive, and it is exactly the kind of losses of the occupier that Ukraine needs.”
Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent announcement that Russia will begin conducting fighter patrols in the eastern Black Sea with interceptor aircraft armed with Kinzhal air-launched missiles is in reaction to an increased presence of the U.S. in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Putin’s announcement,” the report said, “is in line with typical Russian rhetoric aimed at its domestic audience,” which calls the West aggressors, while framing Russian activity as “necessary for protection of the state.”
The Kinzhal missile, the ministry said, is “highly capable on paper,” but its performance in Ukraine thus far has been “poor.”
The British ministry said that “on paper” the Kinzhal is “able to fly at hypersonic speeds and evade modern air defense systems, although there almost certainly needs to be significant improvement in how Russia uses it to achieve this potential.”