Russia says it hit Ukraine with nuclear-capable hypersonic missile for first time

Ukrainian officials say they have not yet determined what kind of missile struck the arms depot.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Russia announced what it claimed was the first use of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile on Saturday. Aerial drone footage released by Russia showed what was said to be a Ukrainian arms depot. Moscow’s claim has not been independently verified.

Ukrainian officials confirmed an underground warehouse in the western area of Deliatyn was struck but said they have not yet confirmed what kind of missile was used.

Russia’s Kinzhal, or “Dagger” reportedly flies faster than the speed of sound. The missile’s speed, combined with its relatively low altitude, makes it invisible to missile tracking systems.

It has an estimated range of 1,250 miles (2,011 km) and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. Russian officials did not indicate if the missile was launched from a silo or a jet.

On Friday, the U.S. Dept. of Defense assessed that Russia has fired more than 1,080 missiles since the invasion began on Feb. 24.

Referring to the U.S. assessment, Dr. James Acton co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told BBC News, “[That] is an astonishing number and a very significant fraction of Russia’s pre-war inventory.”

The Russian military, Acton said, “May very well be running short of accurate munitions.”