Russia says it used its newest Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in Ukraine
Russia revealed on Saturday that it used its newest Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in Ukraine to destroy a weapons storage site in the country’s west, according to Bloomberg. Russia’s Interfax news agency broke the news.
“The Kinzhal aviation missile system with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles destroyed a large underground warehouse containing missiles and aviation ammunition in the village of Deliatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region,” defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
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This is not the first time we hear of Russia using devastating weapons in Ukraine. There had been rumors circulating that Russia was using the TOS-1 heavy flamethrower and thermobaric weapons on Ukrainian soil.
Up until recently, nothing was confirmed. On Wednesday, March 10, however, the UK's Ministry of Defense tweeted that Russia finally admitted to using the weapons that could be considered war crimes.
So, what is this latest weapon? Kinzhal, which means dagger, is an air-launched hypersonic missile with a reported range of 1,500-2,000km (932- 1242 miles) that can carry a nuclear payload of 480 kg.
The weapon had been reportedly unveiled in March 2018 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and many believe the concept for the hypersonic missile must have been derived from the ground-launched Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile.
It is believed that the missile can reach speeds of 2,350 km per hour (1460 miles per hour).
It is also stipulated that Russia first used the Kinzhal during its military campaign in Syria in 2016. Putin has referred to the missile as “an ideal weapon” that flies at 10 times the speed of sound.
It is also believed that it can overcome air-defense systems due to its ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight. In 2018, during a speech, Putin announced that his nation now possessed new hypersonic weapons that could hit almost any point in the world and evade a United States-built missile shield.