Russia unleashed its deadly hypersonic missile for the first time as a chilling video showed the moment of the "unstoppable" weapon hit an ammunition depot in Ukraine.
Drone footage shared on Saturday (March 19) by Russia's Ministry of Defence shows the high-precision weapon taking aim at one of the warehouses containing missiles and aviation ammunition in the village of Deliatyn in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, west Ukraine.
When the missile hits the target, it blasts the whole construction into pieces, sending plumes of black smoke to the air. They are so fast they're described as almost 'invisible' – with no warning before they strike.
Several Ukrainian soldiers working in the depot are seen fleeing for their lives on foot as they run away from the burning building and towards the snow-capped forest.
Russia's MoD tweeted: "Destruction of the warehouse with weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a strike of high-precision missile weapons.
"On the video of objective control, the exact hit of the rocket into the underground hangar with weapons and ammunition was recorded."
Russia confirmed it used an advanced “Kinzhal” hypersonic missile for the first time on Friday to target a large underground warehouse in southwestern Ukraine.
There was no immediate confirmation from Ukraine, and no on-the-ground reports on social media of a strike.
Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a daily briefing that the strike on the village of Delyatyn, in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region, also took out aviation ammunition.
The Kinzhal system of air-to-ground missiles is one of a series of advanced strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.
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China, Russia and the US have the most advanced capabilities of the weapon and some other countries such as India, Japan, Australia, France, Germany and North Korea, are investigating the technology.
Hypersonic missiles are normally fast, low-flying and designed to be "too quick and agile for traditional missile defence systems to detect in time", according to US Congressional Research Service.
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