Russia said that it had used hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles to destroy a large weapons depot in Ukraine’s western Ivano-Frankivsk region. Russia said it was the first time Russia had deployed the hypersonic Kinzhal system since it sent its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that the underground depot hit by the Kinzhal system housed Ukrainian missiles and aircraft ammunition. The office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Russia prides itself on its advanced weaponry, and President Vladimir Putin said in December that Russia was the global leader in hypersonic missiles, whose speed, manoeuvrability and altitude make them difficult to track and intercept. The Kinzhal missiles are part of an array of weapons unveiled in 2018.
Konashenkov added that Russian forces had also destroyed military radio and reconnaissance centres near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa using the Bastion coastal missile system.
Moscow refers to its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to weaken its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it calls dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and Western countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.