Russia claims to have used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine for the first time
Russia says it used its latest Kinzhal hypersonic missiles for the first time in Ukraine to destroy a weapons storage site in the west of the country.
Russia’s Interfax news agency said it was the first time Russia had deployed the Kinzhal hypersonic system since it sent troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24.
“The Kinzhal aviation missile system with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles destroyed a large underground warehouse with missiles and aviation ammunition in the village of Deliatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region,” the carrier said on Saturday. speech of the Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov.
The Ivano-Frankivsk region shares a 50 km (30 mile) long border with NATO member Romania.
The ministry also said Russian forces used the Bastion anti-ship missile system to destroy Ukrainian military installations near the Black Sea port of Odessa.
Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify Konashenkov’s statements.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Russia prides itself on its advanced weaponry, and President Vladimir Putin said in December that Russia is the world leader in hypersonic missiles, whose speed, maneuverability and altitude make them difficult to track and intercept.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan said that due to the nature of warfare, new weapons systems are often used.
“Over the past few days in Kyiv, we have seen cruise missiles fired from Russian territory which were also intercepted by Ukrainian air defense systems,” Khan said, speaking from the Ukrainian capital.
“We are also hearing about Russia introducing suicide drones into the conflict. This is the first time we have heard confirmation of the use of hypersonic missiles.
Russia first used the hypersonic missile during its military campaign in Syria in 2016.
Putin called the Kinzhal (Dagger) missile “the ideal weapon” that flies at 10 times the speed of sound and can defeat air defense systems.
“This is a missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads and is believed to be undetectable by Western air defense systems,” Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari said, speaking from Moscow. “That’s why it’s called an unstoppable ballistic missile.”