Russia conducts successful ballistic missile test launch

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday it had conducted a successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile at the Kapustin Yar rocket launch complex in the southern Astrakhan region.

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Russia has used five of its new hypersonic Zircon missiles to attack Kyiv since the start of the year, the city’s military administration said ealier this month.

The attacks are among more than 180 Russian missile and drone attacks launched against the Ukrainian capital in the first three months of the year, the administration said in a post on Telegram.

The sea-based Zircon missiles have a range of 1,000 km (625 miles) and travel at nine times the speed of sound, Russia says. Military analysts have said the missiles’ hypersonic speed could mean greatly reduced reaction time for air defenses and a capability to attack large, deep and hardened targets.

President Vladimir Putin confirmed in his annual state-of-the-nation address on Feb. 29 that Russia had used Zircon missiles in battle, without saying what sites had been targeted. He has described the Zircon as part of a new generation of unrivalled arms systems.

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The Kyiv administration said the city had also been struck since the start of 2024 by six other types of missiles, including the Kh-101, an air-launched cruise missile of which 113 had so far been fired.

Russia also fired 11 Kinzhal missiles, another hypersonic weapon which travels at several times the speed of sound, at the Ukrainian capital this year, it said.

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