- Ukrainian forces reportedly detected six Russian balloons in Kyiv’s airspace on Thursday.
- A Ukrainian military spokesman said the balloons were meant to ” exhaust our air defense forces.”
- Photos of the balloons have appeared on social media and Telegram.
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Ukrainian forces reportedly spotted six Russian balloons in Kyiv airspace this week.
The Kyiv City Military Administration posted about the balloons on Telegram on Wednesday.
“According to preliminary information, these were balloons that were moving with the wind,” the post said, according to a translation from Ukrinform, a Ukrainian multimedia news broadcasting platform. “The objects could have been carrying corner reflectors and reconnaissance equipment.”
The Kyiv City Military Administration said in its Telegram post that most of the balloons were shot down and that officials will investigate the remains of the downed balloons.
Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said the high-altitude balloons “were launched to detect and exhaust our air defense forces,” the BBC reported.
“These objects could carry radar reflectors and certain reconnaissance equipment,” he added.
Multiple images of the balloons are circulating on social media and Telegram.
One image shows what appears to be a cube- and cross-shaped, silver-looking object connected to a balloon.
The BBC reported that the balloons could confuse radar systems. Shooting them down can waste valuable surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), which can be effective against aircraft, helicopters, drones, and slower cruise missiles.
NATO chief warned earlier this week that Ukraine was using massive amounts of munitions to fight Russian troops, and the rate of fire is putting a strain on Western stockpiles and defense firms.
The incident comes as Russia reportedly amasses aircraft forces on Ukraine’s border, according to Western officials.