Russia used a hypersonic missile for its massive attack on civilian targets in Ukraine

A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K (Vadim Savitsky/)

Russian forces used hypersonic missiles among the 81 rockets launched in Thursday’s offensive against Ukraine, as confirmed by the Russian Defense Ministry, while the Ukrainian military authorities acknowledged that their forces cannot effectively stop this type of arsenal.

Air raid sirens blared over the capital for seven hours as Ukrainian air defenses shot down drones and all manner of cruise missiles, though according to preliminary reports a hypersonic missile hit its target.

“Long-range air, sea and land precision weapons, including Kinzhal hypersonic missile systemthey hit key elements of Ukraine’s military infrastructure, enterprises of the military-industrial complex, as well as power facilities that supply them with energy,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

“Unfortunately, a Kinzhal-type missile hit an infrastructure object”, declared Serhi Popko, head of the military authority of the kyiv region.

Putin’s army has used this type of missile before in Ukraine. In August, he reported that they had been released three times, beginning in July. “And all three times he showed brilliant characteristics,” Defense Minister Serguei Shoigu celebrated at the time.

The Kinzhal missiles are part of a suite of new hypersonic weapons that President Vladimir Putin unveiled in 2018 in a bellicose speech in which he said that they could reach almost anywhere in the world and evade an anti-missile shield developed by the United States.


He Kinzhal It measures eight meters, weighs half a ton and can be launched from both a fighter plane and a bomber. Its speed is five to ten times greater than sound and it has a range of more than 2,000 km.

According to a report cited by the Russian news agency TASSin July 2018, This type of weapon could reach more than 3000 kilometers, if launched from a Tupolev Tu-22M bomber. This Russian dagger is a very difficult projectile to intercept due to its maneuverability. Its hypersonic feature allows it to change its trajectory in the air and swerve if necessary.

This Thursday, the head of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated that Russia fired 81 missiles into Ukrainian territory in the early hours of Thursday, including six Kinzhal missiles.

Valery Zaluzhny reported on Telegram the list of the arsenal used from different bases: 28 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles from the air; 20 cruise missiles Calibr from the sea; six X-22 aerial cruise missiles; six Kh-47 airborne cruise missiles Kinzhal; eight guided air missiles: 2 – Kh-31P; 6-X-59; and 13 guided anti-aircraft missiles S-300.

The use of hypersonic missiles is analyzed from two perspectives: it may be a new show of intimidation by the Kremlin or a sign of a depletion of the most “current” arsenal of rockets in the Russian forces.

Firefighters work in kyiv after the impact of a Russian missile on Thursday (Reuters)
Firefighters work in kyiv after the impact of a Russian missile on Thursday (Reuters) (GLEB GARANICH /)

wave of attacks

kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported explosions in the southwest of the capital. Through the Telegram messaging application, the mayor said that 40% of kyiv consumers had lost electricity.

Also the port of Odessaon the Black Sea, and the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, were hit by missiles, in a wide arc of targets stretching from Yitomir, Vynnytsia and Rivne in the west to Dnieper and Poltava in the center the country, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

On Thursday morning, the Ukrainian military declared that Russian forces were attacking the mining town of Bakhmut and other eastern cities such as Kupyansk, Liman, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk.

“During the last day, our soldiers repelled more than 110 attacks,” the Ukrainian army stated.

In turn, missiles knocked out power to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant during a series of attacks across Ukraine, as Ukrainian defenders repelled fierce assaults on the besieged city of Bakhmut. the nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhyacaptured by the Russian military a year ago, was reliant on standby generators after Russian missiles damaged the Ukrainian infrastructure that supplied electricity to the plant, Ukraine’s state-owned power utility Energoatom said in a statement.

In OdessaThe region’s governor, Maksym Marchenko, said on Telegram that a massive missile attack hit a power facility in the port city, cutting off power. Residential areas were also hit.

The governor of the region KharkivOleh Synehubov said the city and the region were hit by 15 attacks, the targets of which include infrastructure. Other attacks were reported in the central city of the Dnieper and in regions across the country.

Russia, which has gone months without a significant battlefield victory, set its sights on Bakhmut last August. Fighting in the city has been some of the bloodiest since the invasion of Ukraine began in February last year, but so far the Russian military only claims to have taken the eastern half of the city.

(With information from Reuters)

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