Voanews reports that Russia has launched 80 Hypersonic Missiles against Ukraine.
The latest Russian missile barrage against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure has marked one of the largest such attacks in months.
On Thursday, Russia fired more than 80 missiles in a massive effort to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses and cripple the country’s energy system.
Russia has been regularly launching similar strikes since October in a bid to demoralize Ukrainians and force the government to bow to the Kremlin’s demands.
Thursday’s strikes differed from earlier attacks, though, by including a larger number of sophisticated hypersonic missiles that are the most advanced weapons in the Russian arsenal. But just like previous barrages it has failed to cause lasting damage to the country’s energy network, with repair crews quickly restoring power supplies to most regions.
Here is a look at the latest Russian missile attack and the weapons involved.
What did Ukrainian and Russian officials say?
Ukraine’s military chief, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said that Russia launched 81 missiles and eight exploding Iranian-made Shahed drones in a barrage early Thursday, and Ukraine’s air defenses downed 34 missiles and four drones.
According to Zaluzhnyi, those missiles included six hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat emphasized that Ukraine lacks assets to intercept the Kinzhal and the older Kh-22 missiles that were also used in Thursday’s strikes.
Russia’s Defense Ministry described the barrage as a “strike of retribution” in retaliation for what Moscow described as a cross-border raid by Ukrainian saboteurs who attacked two villages in the Bryansk region in western Russia last week. A group of self-exiled Russians fighting alongside Ukrainian forces claimed responsibility for the attack, while Ukraine denied involvement. Moscow didn’t say how many missiles were fired, but claimed they hit the designated targets.
How did the latest barrage differ from earlier Russian attacks?
Military analysts noted that the number of Kinzhal missiles used in Thursday’s barrage was significantly higher compared with previous strikes, which have typically involved no more than a couple of such weapons.