"UFO" over Kyiv and Patriot air defence systems. What happens in the air

April 21, 2023

The drone attack and the explosion in the sky over Kyiv were preceded by good news about the strengthening of Ukraine’s air defences

The first reaction of the authorities — to declare an air alert — was, in my opinion, correct, because in wartime, any extraordinary event is incomprehensible, the first thing that comes to mind is the enemy activity. As for the authorities’ communication, their reaction is far from optimal. If there is no reliable information, then it is better to simply report that we have no clear answer to this question, as soon as it becomes known — we communicate. Such truth in no way undermines the respect for the authorities. So, there was a communication failure in the authorities' explanation of yesterday's flash in the sky over Kyiv — I mean the poor version with a NASA satellite. Next, they had to apologise for their words about the "previous version". This should not be the case. This may be discussed in the kitchen, but not given in the information space as an official position. It may be admissible in peacetime, not in wartime. Especially given that the high-energy acoustic phenomenon (as it was later described by the State Space Agency of Ukraine) took place against the background of a new wave of Shahed UAV strikes in a number of regions.


Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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