Russia has used a hypersonic ballistic missile for the first time in Ukraine, destroying a weapons storage site in the village of Deliatyn in the country’s west, the defense ministry in Moscow claims.
Russia’s Interfax reported that the hypersonic Kinzhal system had been used for the first time since Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on February 24th.
It is alleged that Russia has previously deployed the Kinzhal system in Syria, but Moscow has never previously admitted to using the high-precision weapon in combat.
“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,” Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
The ministry shared footage of the strike on Twitter.
The statement from Konashenkov also claimed that a separate strike had destroyed Ukrainian military radio and reconnaissance centers close to the port city of Odessa.
The Kinzhal missile is a relatively new addition to the Russian armory, having only been unveiled in 2018. Able to travel at five times the speed of sound, the weapon can avoid detection by traditional systems. Russia takes great pride in its advanced weaponry, and as recently as December Vladimir Putin boasted that his country was the global leader in the development of hypersonic missiles. The US military is working on its own hypersonic weapons, but at present no projects have reached operational capability.