Putin prepares new hypersonic ‘meteorite’ missile that can hit any target in the world in under 30 minutes

Missile is reportedly installed in an underground launch silo in the Orenburg region

Vishwam Sankaran
Sunday 18 December 2022 07:33 GMT
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Related video: Top Ukrainian general says country is preparing for fresh Russian invasion from the north

Russia’s defense ministry has announced that the country’s hypersonic “Avangard” missile system is to be introduced into service.

President Vladimir Putin claimed in 2018 that the intercontinental missile was “invincible” and that the weapon could hit any target on Earth within 30 minutes and travel at 27 times the speed of sound.

“Another missile regiment will be introduced into service in the Yasny military formation for the anniversary of our Strategic Missile Forces – now with the Avangard missile system,” Russian Strategic Missile Forces commander Sergey Karakayev said last week, according to the news agency TASS.

The defense ministry said the missile system, reportedly installed in an underground launch silo in the Orenburg region, will increase the combat capabilities of the Strategic Missile Forces.

The latest announcement comes as Russia carried out waves of airstrikes targeting critical infrastructure in Ukraine on Friday. In a barrage of more than 70 missile attacks, Russia targeted key energy and water facilities across several Ukrainian cities.

While 60 of the 76 missiles were intercepted, according to Ukraine’s defense ministry, the attacks left at least three people dead and several injured, and triggered blackouts across the country.

Emergency crews pulled the body of a toddler from the rubble following a deadly missile strike that tore through an apartment building in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih.

Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region – where Kryvyi Rih is located – said that rescuers had “retrieved the body of a 1.5-year-old boy from under the rubble of a house destroyed by a Russian rocket”.

Mr Reznichenko said the airstrikes had continued overnight, damaging power lines and houses in the cities and towns of Nikopol, Marhanets, and Chervonohryhorivka across the Dnipro River.

In his nightly address on Saturday, president Volodymyr Zelensky said electricity had been restored to nearly 6 million Ukrainians, but added that issues with the supply of heating and water persisted.

The Ukrainian cabinet ministry also announced that it plans to open around 10,000 new “invincibility centres” across the country.

It said on Saturday that the country intends to triple the number of these shelters, which can help people to warm up, charge their phones, and connect to the internet during Russia’s ongoing attacks.

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