Thursday. 09.02.2023
WAR IN UKRAINE

Russia says it fired new hypersonic missile in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a grim message addressed to the Russian people a day after Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a massive pro-war rally at a Moscow stadium
18 March 2022, Ukraine, Kiev: A woman walks past an apartment building damaged by Russian shelling in the Podil neighborhood. Photo: Mykhaylo Palinchak/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
A woman walks past an apartment building damaged by Russian shelling in the Podil neighborhood, in Kiev. Photo: Mykhaylo Palinchak/dpa.

The Russian air force has used a new hypersonic missile for the first time in Ukraine, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said on Saturday, potentially marking a new escalation in the assault on its neighbour.

Moscow said the 'Kinzhal' - or 'Dagger' - air-to-surface missile destroyed an underground ammunition depot in south-western Ukraine on Friday.

The attack in the Ivano-Frankivsk region also marks the missile's first ever deployment in combat, the ministry said.

The Kinzhal missiles are fired from MiG-31 fighter jets and, according to Russia, can hit targets up to 2,000 kilometres away. Hypersonic missiles exceed the speed of sound several times over and fly at more than 6,000 kilometres per hour.

So far, there has been no comment from the Ukrainian government in Kiev and Moscow's claim could no be independently verified.

Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko called on Western allies to continue supplying weapons to Ukraine, especially defence systems that could counter Russian aerial attacks.

"Please, support us," the former professional boxer said in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Saturday, day 24 of the war.

"We are capable of closing our airspace ourselves," the 50-year-old continued. "But we definitely need to get the right weapons."

NATO has repeatedly ruled out imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, fearing it could lead to direct military confrontation between Russia and the West.

According to Klitschko, Kiev has now recorded more than 200 civilians killed. About 2 million residents remained in the city, he said.

Zelensky to Putin: 'Imagine 14,000 corpses'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday claimed 14,000 Russians have died in the war.

Zelensky delivered a grim message addressed to the Russian people a day after Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a massive pro-war rally at a Moscow stadium in which the crowd waved Russian flags and chanted "Russia, Russia, Russia."

Zelensky said the 100,000 people in front of the stadium, along with 95,000 that were in the arena itself, corresponded to around the number of Russian soldiers who had entered Ukraine, Zelensky said on Saturday morning in a video message.

"And now imagine 14,000 corpses in this stadium, in addition to tens of thousands more wounded and maimed people," he said, referring to Ukrainian estimates of Russian losses since the war began.

The head of the humanitarian staff for the Ukrainian capital Kiev Olexiy Kuleba said early Saturday at least 50,000 civilians had been evacuated from combat zones to the north and north-west of the capital and authorities were continuing rescue efforts from the most vulnerable areas.

Humanitarian corridors have been opened to allow civilians to leave embattled cities and towns, but the corresponding agreements have been repeatedly violated.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Olexiy Arestovych said Saturday morning there had been more fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces at the Chernobayevka Airport near Kherson in southern Ukraine.

Russia says it fired new hypersonic missile in Ukraine
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