The Russian military claimed Saturday to have used a hypersonic missile in their attack on an ammunition depot in western Ukraine, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
Russia has fired countless missiles throughout their invasion of Ukraine, but Saturday was the first time the nation claimed to have used weapons “capable of hypersonic speed” during their attack on an arms depot, according to the NYT.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov claimed Russian hypersonic missiles destroyed an underground Ukrainian warehouse storing missiles and aviation ammunition, the report continued. Ukrainian military spokesman Yuriy Ignat confirmed that the warehouse was targeted but said the type of missile involved has not been determined, NYT noted. (RELATED: North Korea Tests New ‘Hypersonic Missile,’ State-Run Media Says)
Though the report could not be independently verified by the NYT, if it’s true, it would be the first time a hypersonic weapon has ever been used in active warfare, according to the outlet.
Videos have circulated online showing what appears to be “Kinzhal” missiles flying over the Ukrainian countryside, cities and military bases, but these also have not been officially verified, according to the NYT.
Video making the rounds this am, reports that it is first combat use of Russian hypersonic missile – Kinzhal on a weapons depot near the Polish border pic.twitter.com/pVxqEWlT5J
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 19, 2022
Both China and Russia have development programs focused on hypersonic weapons, which can be armed with nuclear warheads, according to the NYT. “Hypersonic weapons can travel at five times the speed of sound,” according to previous comments from Raytheon contractors. In 2021, China tested its advanced hypersonic weapon systems, which immediately grabbed the attention of Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.