About three weeks after the start of the Ukraine war, the Russian military said it used a hypersonic missile in the west of the country; this is probably the first time this newly developed weapon has been used.
According to information from Moscow on Saturday, the Kinzhal rocket (kinzhal means dagger) destroyed an underground weapons depot in a village the day before.
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The Russian Defense Ministry said the destroyed cache of missiles and ammunition was located in the village of Delyatyn, about 100 kilometers from the border with NATO member Romania. According to Russian information, Kinzhal missiles can evade all air defense systems and the Russian side has never announced their use in a conflict zone.
Two military reconnaissance bases in the Odessa region on the Black Sea were also destroyed. Information could not be verified.
The Kinzhal and Zirkon missiles belong to a new type of weapon developed by Russia that President Vladimir Putin described as invincible. They are also said to be able to defeat US air defense systems stationed in Europe.
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It is the first time since the start of the war that Russia has reported the use of its new Kinzhal air-to-surface ballistic missile. Until now, the weapons have been used mainly during exercises, the last time a few days before the invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
Russia reported the first successful test of these hypersonic missiles in 2018. Since then it has been used several times during maneuvers. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, during the 2018 tests the Kinzhal missiles hit all targets, some of which were more than a thousand kilometers away.
The missiles are fired by MiF-31 fighter jets. According to Russian information, they can hit targets at a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers, bypassing all air defense systems. Hypersonic missiles exceed several times the speed of sound and fly at more than 6,000 kilometers per hour. (AFP-dpa)