Russia Uses Hypersonic Ballistic Missiles in Ukraine for First Time

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Russia said on Saturday that it has used hypersonic missiles to destroy Ukrainian military assets in what marks the first time Moscow has acknowledged using this type of weapon in combat.

The Russian defense ministry said in a March 19 operational update that on Friday it destroyed a large underground storage facility for missiles and aviation ammunition in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankovsk region, using missiles that can travel at over five times the speed of sound.

Igor Konashenkov, the ministry spokesperson, said that the Kinzhal aviation missile system with hypersonic ballistic missiles was used in the strike.

Konashenkov added that, as of Saturday, Russian forces have destroyed 196 Ukrainian drones, 1,438 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 145 multiple launch rocket systems, 556 field artillery and mortars, and 1,237 special military vehicles.

‘Indiscriminate Use of Firepower’

The Ukrainian military on Saturday reported more attacks against Russian forces, claiming that at least 14,400 Russian soldiers had been thus far killed in combat.

The Ukrainian General Staff said that at least 1,470 Russian armored personnel carriers, 914 vehicles, 466 tanks, 115 helicopters, 95 aircraft, and 17 drones have been destroyed.

British intelligence said Saturday that Russia has thus far failed to meet its original military objectives and “has been surprised by the scale and ferocity” of Ukrainian resistance.

It warned that Moscow is now “pursuing a strategy of attrition” and could resort to the “indiscriminate use of firepower” as it changes tactics, resulting in increased civilian casualties and destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure.

UK intelligence shared a video purporting to show Russian forces using non-precision munitions to strike dense urban areas, “killing and displacing innocent civilians.”

By Tom Ozimek

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