Russia: Russia uses newest hypersonic missiles to hit Ukraine, nine killed


KYIV: Russia launched its biggest aerial attack in weeks on Thursday, hitting targets across Ukraine with a complex barrage of weapons including its newest hypersonic missiles, in what it said was retaliation for an incursion last week by a pro-Ukrainian armed group in the Bryansk region of Russia. Ending weeks of relative calm in Kyiv and other cities, the strikes killed at least nine people nationwide, knocked out power in several areas and damaged three electrical plants, Ukrainian officials said.
The strikes included six of the new hypersonic missiles known as Kinzhals, or Daggers, the most Russia has used in a single wave since the war began a year ago, according to Ukraine’s air force. Of the 81 missiles fired overnight and through the morning, 47 hit targets, Ukraine said. That is a far higher ratio of strikes to missiles fired than Russia has achieved in barrages over recent months.
Russia fired 48 air-launched missiles of various types, including its most advanced missiles, called Kinzhals – which fly many times faster than the speed of sound and are built to carry nuclear warheads with a range of more than 2,000 km. Ukraine’s military says it has no air defence system capable of shooting down the Kinzhals. Russia is believed to have just a few dozen kinzhals, which President Vladimir Putin regularly touts as a weapon for which Nato has no answer.
Twenty Kalibr cruise missiles were fired from the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Russia sometimes guides these missiles to follow the looping paths of Ukraine’s major rivers, enabling them to fly low and avoid terrain. Russia also launched a barrage of 13 older S-300 missiles, anti-aircraft missiles that Russia has repurposed to hit ground targets as it runs low on other types and eight Shahed exploding drones.
Five people were killed in their homes when a rocket landed in a residential area in the western region of Lviv, bordering Poland, and one person died in the Dnipropetrovsk region of central Ukraine, local officials said. To the north, in the Kharkiv region near the border with Russia, 15 missiles hit infrastructure and a residential building, the head of the region’s military administration said on Telegram. Three people were also killed in Russian shelling in the southern city of Kherson, officials said. In the capital, Kyiv, two large explosions an hour apart injured at least two residents and sent a plume of black smoke billowing from the city’s center, rattling windows and engulfing cars in flames. At least one hypersonic missile appeared to have struck the capital, an official in Kyiv said.
The head of the UN nuclear agency issued an impassioned plea after the strikes temporarily cut off the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine from external power lines and forced it to switch to diesel generators. It was the sixth time the Zaporizhzhia facility needed to move to its emergency power supply since the invasion, according to Rafael Mariano Grossi. “If we allow this to continue time after time, then one day our luck will run out,” he said, referring to the possibility of a nuclear accident. Later in the day, the nuclear plant was reconnected to the power grid, the national electric utility, Ukrenergo, said in an update on Telegram.
“The occupiers can only terrorise civilians. That’s all they can do. But it won’t help them. They won’t avoid responsibility for everything they have done,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement, describing strikes that struck 10 regions. In the capital Kyiv, the seven-hour alert through the night was the longest of Russia’s five-month air campaign.


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