Ukraine says it shot down Russian balloons over Kyiv
Ukraine’s military suspects that the balloons were carrying corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment
February 15, 2023 9:05pm
Updated: February 15, 2023 9:05pm
Kyiv’s military administration said on Wednesday that its air defenses shot down six Russian balloons flying over the city.
“About six enemy air targets were detected in Kyiv’s airspace,” said a statement from the Kyiv military administration posted on Telegram. “All six were hit by air defense systems. Most of these probes were shot down.”
The purpose of the balloons is being investigated by the military. However, Ukraine’s military suspects that the balloons were carrying corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment.
"According to information that is now being clarified, these were balloons that move in the air under the propulsion of wind," the military administration posted on Telegram.
Balloon with reflectors downed today around Kyiv. Six of them were detected earlier. pic.twitter.com/V8qyeQObGS— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) February 15, 2023
"The purpose of launching the balloons was possibly to detect and exhaust our air defenses," the post continued.
Before the balloons were spotted, Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat had claimed that Russia could be using balloons to preserve its stocks of reconnaissance drones and to get Ukraine to use its valuable resources to shoot them down.
"Reconnaissance drones like the Orlan-10 are now being used more sparingly (by Russia), and they thought 'Why don't we use these balloons?' So they are using them," Ihnat said on national television.