US Says Ukraine Shot Down Balloons Over Kyiv Last Week
Ukraine shot down at least six balloons over Kyiv on Wednesday, according to the British Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence update on Ukraine posted on Twitter.
The report said the Ukrainian armed forces spotted the balloons with radar reflectors suspended from them over Kyiv.
On Feb. 12, Ukraine’s air force said it spotted balloons over eastern Dnipropetrovsk, according to the report.
“It is likely that the balloons were Russian,” the ministry said, adding that the aircraft “likely represent” a new Russian information-gathering tactic to gain information about Ukrainian air defense systems that could “compel the Ukrainians to expend valuable stocks of surface to air missiles and ammunition.”
The British Defense Ministry said Moldovan airspace was closed Tuesday for several hours because of a balloon-shaped object. “There is a realistic possibility that this was a Russian balloon that had drifted from Ukrainian airspace,” the ministry said.
The Defense Ministry did not say whether the balloons resembled the balloons recently spotted and shot down over North America.
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said in his daily address Saturday that almost all of Ukraine ended the day with power which he said was “another confirmation of our resilience.”