Ukraine Says Russia Has Unleashed Hypersonic Missiles On Odessa
With Mariupol having been taken by Russian forces, (with the exception the Azovstal iron and steel works plant where a few hundred Azov fighters are still under siege), Russian missiles began pounding Odesa in the overnight and early Tuesday morning hours.
"Buildings in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa lay in ruins as firefighters battled blazes into the early hours on Tuesday, a day after Russian forces pounded the port with missiles and President Vladimir Putin led defiant celebrations marking the Soviet's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II," Reuters observed.
Ukraine's armed forces subsequently announced that a volley of seven missiles hit a shopping center and depot, killing at least one and injuring five.
Since March local Ukrainian officials have expressed fear that Russia may try a naval landing at the major southern port city on the Black Sea. But now well over two months into the invasion, it seems Odesa in now the crosshairs - a city that's home to Ukraine's navy, and which has so far largely escaped direct heavy attack.
Odesa officials are now claiming that Russia launched hypersonic missiles on the city. "Ukraine alleged at least some of the munitions used dated back to the Soviet era, making them unreliable in targeting," the latest Associated Press reporting begins, and adds:
"But the Center for Defense Strategies, a Ukrainian think tank tracking the war, said Moscow used some precision weapons against Odesa: Kinzhal, or “Dagger,” hypersonic air-to-surface missiles.
Now in Odesa pic.twitter.com/DjRWfgZ4YB— Oleh Novikov 🇺🇦 (@olehbatkovych) May 9, 2022
US and Ukrainian officials alleged back in mid-March that Russian forces had already deployed hypersonics on a limited basis. President Biden had also at the time said "it's almost impossible to stop it. There's a reason they're using it."
And according to CNN, "the UK defense ministry has previously said the Kinzhal missile is really just an air-launched version of the Iskander short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), which Russia has used repeatedly in its war on Ukraine." The missile's advantage is that it's too fast for any defense systems to intercept.
Russian missiles struck a shopping center and warehouses in Odesa overnight, killing one person and wounding three more, authorities say. 📸 via State Emergency Service of Ukraine pic.twitter.com/ShOSkeb4KS— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) May 10, 2022
However, as for this latest accusation in Odesa, it's as yet unverified that hypersonics were fired on the port city. Additionally the Russian side has yet to respond to the allegation and is not expected to as the invasion now focused on Ukraine's east and south continues to unfold.