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Russia claims it used Kinzhal hypersonic missile in Ukraine

Kinzhal hypersonic missile
Illustration: Russian defense ministry file photo of the Kinzhal hypersonic missile on a MiG-31K

The Russian defense ministry says it has used the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile for the first time since the start of its invasion of Ukraine.

Should this be confirmed, it would also represent the first-ever use of a hypersonic missile in combat operations.

Ukraine is yet to confirm that the strike took place and there are currently no reports on social media that would confirm the use of Kinzhal in Ukraine.

According to the Russian defense ministry, the missile system was employed on March 18 to destroy a large underground storage facility for missiles and aviation ammunition of Ukrainian troops in Delyatin, Ivano-Frankovsk region.

Kinzhal is launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors and is believed to have entered service in December 2017 as one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian president Vladimir Putin back in 2018.

The same briefing from the Russian defense ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said the Bastion coastal missile system destroyed the radio and technical reconnaissance centers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Velikiy Dalnik and Velikodolinskoye, Odessa region.

Konashenkov added that Russian forces destroyed 196 Ukrainian UAVs, 1,438 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 145 multiple launch rocket systems, 556 artillery systems, and 1,237 other military vehicles.

Ukraine’s tally of Russian losses includes 95 Russian aircraft, 115 helicopters, 466 tanks, 914 vehicles, 60 fuel carriers 24 days into Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.