Russia fires ‘unstoppable’ hypersonic missiles at Ukraine for first time ‘to destroy weapons depot’

Written by on March 19, 2022

Russia has claimed it used a Kinzhal hypersonic missile to strike a large weapons depot in Ukraine’s western Ivano-Frankivsk region.

It marks the first time the advanced system has been deployed since Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

A firefighter walks outside a destroyed apartment building in Kyiv, following a Russian shelling attack on 15 March

  • AP
    Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for Russia’s defence ministry, said the “invisible” weapon had destroyed an underground warehouse storing ammunition for Ukrainian troops in the western Ivano-Frankivsk region.

The alleged attack, which Mr Konashenkov told a briefing took place on Friday, used a Kinzhal – or “Dagger” – missile, which is believed to have a range of 1,250 miles.

In December, Putin said his country was the global leader in hypersonic missiles, whose speed, manoeuvrability and altitude make them difficult to track and intercept – or “invincible” – to use the Russian president’s own words.

Russia said it had also destroyed military radio and reconnaissance centres near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa using the Bastion coastal missile system, Interfax news agency reported.

It is unknown if the strikes caused any casualties, and The Independent has been unable to verify the claims made by Mr Konashenkov.

“The Kinzhal aviation missile system, with hypersonic aero-ballistic missiles, destroyed a large underground ammunition depot in the Ivano-Frankivsk region,” Mr Konashenkov told a briefing that was shared by Russian news agencies.

Hypersonic weapons are largely considered the next generation of arms due to the fact they can reach more than five times the speed of sound and the challenge they pose to anti-missile defence systems.

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