March 2018: Putin Claims New ‘Invincible’ Missile Can Pierce US Defenses 

First a blast from the past.
This is from a CNN article dated March 1, 2018.

Moscow CNN — Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted Thursday of new weaponry he claims will render NATO defenses “completely useless,” delivering a warning to the world about Russia’s resurgent military might.

In an annual address to the Russian Parliament, the Kremlin leader said Russia had developed a new, nuclear-capable cruise missile with “unlimited” range that is capable of eluding air-defense systems.

He also said Russia had developed an “invincible” missile that can deliver a warhead at hypersonic speed.

“Russia still has the greatest nuclear potential in the world, but nobody listened to us,” he said. “Listen now.”


Tuesday: Kyiv Says it Shot Down 6 Russian Hypersonic Missiles

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko inspects a Russian hypersonic missile shot down by Ukrainian air defenses last week. Kyiv’s apparent ability to stop the missiles has dealt another blow to the Kremlin’s war effort.

Kyiv said air defences intercepted six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which Russia has claimed can overcome all existing air defence systems. Russia denies its Kinzhals were stopped.

However if Ukraine’s claims are true, Moscow will be feeling frustrated that the finest weapons from its missile fleet are now able to be intercepted. This is in large part due to the arrival of modern Western defence systems, including Patriots.

Russia continues to insist that the missiles, which it says can travel at more than 11,000kmh (7,000mph), cannot be destroyed by any of the world’s air defence systems.


Thursday: Russian Hypersonic Missile Scientists are Arrested on Treason Charges

Russia’s hypersonic missiles have taken a dual hit this week from Patriots fired by Ukraine and “patriots” arrested at home.

Once touted as unstoppable, the program faces growing domestic fallout from treason charges against three scientists who worked on the technology, just as Kyiv claims its U.S.-supplied air defense systems have been able to shoot many of the missiles down.

The three scientists — Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk and Valery Zvegintsev — were employees of the Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. They were all detained on suspicion of high treason over the past year, according to the letter published on the institute’s website. 

The apparent vulnerability of the missiles “is likely a surprise and an embarrassment for Russia,” the British Defense Ministry said in its daily dispatch Wednesday. 


What is the Kinzhal missile?

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