Russia reports first use of hypersonic missile

The Russian military says it used its latest hypersonic missile, Kinzhal, for the first time in combat during its offensive in Ukraine.

The Kinzhal is a nuclear-capable hypersonic aero-ballistic air-to-ground missile.

Spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the hypersonic missiles destroyed an underground warehouse storing missiles and aviation ammunition of Ukrainian troops in the western Ivano-Frankivsk region.
February 19, 2022, shows a MiG-31K fighter of the Russian air force carrying a Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile parked at an air field during a military drills.
The Russian military says it used its latest hypersonic missile, Kinzhal, for the first time in combat during its offensive in Ukraine (Photo: Feb 2022) (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Konashenkov also said that the Russian forces used the anti-ship missile system Bastion 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.

A Ukrainian military official has confirmed to a local news outlet that Russian forces carried out a missile strike on Friday on a missile and ammunition warehouse in the Delyatyn settlement of the Ivano-Frankivsk region in western Ukraine.

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.

Women walks inside a school damaged among other residential buildings following a bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 18, 2022.
Russian forces pressed their assault on Ukrainian cities Friday, with new missile strikes and shelling on the edges of the capital Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, as world leaders pushed for an investigation of the Kremlin’s repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals and residential areas (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced Saturday that 10 humanitarian corridors have been agreed on with the Russians.

They include a corridor from the besieged port city of Mariupol, several in the Kyiv region and several in the Luhansk region.

She also announced plans to deliver humanitarian aid to the city of Kherson, which is currently under control of the Russian forces.

In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces are blockading the largest cities with the goal of creating such miserable conditions that Ukrainians will cooperate.

He said the Russians are preventing supplies from reaching surrounded cities in central and southeastern Ukraine.

Satellite images on Friday from Maxar Technologies showed a long line of cars leaving Mariupol as people tried to evacuate. Zelenskyy said more than 9,000 people were able to leave the city in the past day.

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