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TOPIC: zircon missile

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

What To Know About Putin's Hypersonic Missiles

Vladimir Putin has used what's believed to be the world’s only bonafide hypersonic missile battery, which are capable of evading air defenses. So, what are the missiles, and what do they mean for the war?

This article was updated on Friday March 7, 2023, to reflect recent developments.

Russia's launching of six hypersonic missiles against Ukraine is a major development in the war. Critical infrastructure and residential buildings were hit Thursday in at least 10 regions and six people were killed in the Lviv region, some 440 miles from the front line. The missiles were launched from Russian aircraft and carriers in the Black Sea.

During January's announcement of the activation of the so-called "Zircon" missiles (it is not clear how many exist), Putin boasted that "It has no analogues in any country in the world,” according to TASS.

But what exactly is the Zircon missile? Why is Russia deploying it now, and what are the implications of its use?

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