Russia has deployed a hypersonic missile in its attacks on Ukraine, its defense ministry said — the first time the powerful weapon has been used in combat.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the high-tech Kinzhal, carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, destroyed a large underground warehouse for missiles and aircraft ammunition in the village of Delyatyn, near the western Ivano-Frankivs region of Ukraine, according to multiple reports.
A Ukrainian military official confirmed to a local news outlet that Russian missiles hit the warehouse Friday.
Ukraine’s Air Forces spokesman Yurii Ihnat told the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper Saturday, however, that it is yet to be confirmed whether the missile the Russians used was indeed Kinzhal, or some other kind.
The Kinzhal has a range of up to 1,250 miles and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, or more than 2 miles per second, Russia claims. It is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Boone also claimed the depot was a former secret Soviet nuclear weapons storage base that extended 150 feet below ground.
Hypersonic missiles can fly in the upper atmosphere, are easier to maneuver than conventional missiles and more capable of avoiding air defenses, according to the BBC.
Konashenkov said Russian forces also used the anti-ship Bastion missile system to strike Ukrainian military facilities near the Black Sea port of Odesa. Russia first used the weapon during its military campaign in Syria in 2016.
The strike destroyed Ukrainian military radio and reconnaissance operations near Odesa.