Russia claims first use of hypersonic missiles against Ukrainian military assets

Experts claim it's little more than "sign of showmanship" with minimal tactical benefit.

Updated: March 19, 2022 - 4:59pm

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Russia on Saturday claimed to have deployed a hypersonic missile against Ukraine for the first time, a development which some experts dismissed as less significant than the hype surrounding it. 

The Russian Ministry of Defense posted footage of what it said was the missile striking an underground munitions depot in Deliatyn, a town located just several dozen miles from the Romanian border. 

Some authorities have been concerned by Russia's development and retention of hypersonic missiles, though not all experts agree that they are a particularly worrisome weapon.

"I don't view it as that significant," James Acton, a nuclear policy specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the BBC.

"I don't know how much of an advantage Russia is getting from using hypersonic missiles," he added. 

Dominika Kunertova of the Center for Security Studies in Zurich told the news service that the missiles were little more than "a sign of showmanship."

"Even if it's used we should consider it as an isolated moment because Russia doesn't have a large number of these missiles," he said.