Russia Says It Has Used New Hypersonic Ballistic Kinzhal Missiles for the First Time in Ukraine

According to the Russian military, they have fired a hypersonic ballistic missile and destroyed a massive underground arms depot in Western Ukraine, the defense ministry in Moscow stated.

Russia has several in its arsenal, including the Kinzhal, or Dagger, Ballistic missile launched from the air, most likely by a MiG-31 warplane.

Russia’s Interfax news agency said it was the first time Russia had deployed the hypersonic Kinzhal system since it sent its troops into the Ukraine on Feb. 24.

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force command confirmed a Russian missile strike on Delyatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region on Friday, without going into any further details.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that the underground depot hit by the Kinzhal system on Friday housed Ukrainian missiles and aircraft ammunition, according to a recording of the briefing shared by the Russian news agencies.

Russia prides itself on its advanced weaponry, and President Vladimir Putin said in December that Russia was the global leader in hypersonic missiles, whose speed, maneuverability, and altitude make them difficult to track and intercept.

The new Kinzhal missiles are part of an array of weapons unveiled in late 2018 by Russia.

Konashenkov also said on Saturday that Russian forces had also destroyed military radio and reconnaissance centers near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa using the Bastion coastal missile system.

Moscow continues to say that its actions are part of a “Special Operation” to weaken its southern neighbors military capabilities, and to root out Nazis and radicals in the region.

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