Six Hypersonic Missiles Were Used In Latest Russian Attack, Ukraine Confirms
Ukraine's military has confirmed that during Thursday morning's large missile barrage on various cities and energy infrastructure sites across the country, which has now been tallied at 95 projectiles total, up to six hypersonic missiles were fired - which are basically impossible to defend against.
A Ukrainian armed forces spokesman said in a statement, "The attack is really large-scale and for the first time using such different types of missiles. We see that this time as many as six Kinzhal were used. This is an attack like I don't remember seeing before."
Spokesperson for the Air Force Command of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, continued in televised words: "So far, we have no capabilities to counter these weapons," in reference to the Kinzhals. It was additionally revealed that six X-22 air-launched cruise missiles were fired. Importantly, the Kremlin itself admitted to deploying hypersonics on Thursday but didn't say how many were used.
While there's been a handful of occasions over the past year of war that hypersonic missiles have been fired, which have come few and far between, this is the first known time this many were deployed in a single day. This is true of any modern war, given Ukraine marks the first conflict in which the cutting-edge weapons have been actively deployed against real targets.
Hypersonic speed is generally defined as a projectile that can reach Mach 5 or greater. The Kinzhal is purported to travel at Mach 10 speeds (or about 7,672 mph) in an unpredictable flight path, making it nearly impossible for even the most advanced missile defense shields to shoot down. The advanced weaponry was first unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 and is air-launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors.
Thursday's large-scale usage of hypersonics is likely also a signal to Washington and NATO warning that it must stay out of the conflict, at a moment of deepening involvement due to shipping heavy weaponry like battle tanks.
Here's unconfirmed footage of what could be the Kinzhal, from earlier in the war:
Allegedly footage of Russian Kh-47M2 "Kinzhal" hypersonic missile launched today against of the Ukrainian armed forces underground weapons depot in Deliatyn. pic.twitter.com/9cHgmiKmni— Harry Boone (@Harry_Boone) March 19, 2022
The Kremlin had called Thursday's missile operation "retaliation" for the March 2nd cross-border terror attack incident on Russian soil near Ukraine. This involved alleged groups of well-armed Ukrainian nationalists crossing into Russia's southern Bryansk region and opening fire on villages, which killed two civilians, and reportedly injured a 10-year old boy. President Putin had previously described of the infiltrators, "They opened fire on civilians,... they saw that there were children in the car."