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Putin Oversees Hypersonic Missile Test in Crimea

Thursday's exercises involved more than 30 ships, a Black Sea Fleet submarine and more than 40 Aerospace Forces aircraft. Alexei Druzhinin / TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday oversaw military exercises from a naval vessel in the Black Sea near Crimea, including the test launch of a hypersonic air-launched Kinzhal missile, the Kremlin said.

A pair of MiG-31K interceptor jets test fired the Kinzhal (Dagger) missile at a target on a military test site, the Kremlin said. The exercise involved several navy vessels.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has since built up military infrastructure on the peninsula.

The first public outing of the Kinzhal occurred during a Red Square military parade in May 2018 and was one of several world premieres for Russian weapons.

Putin disclosed the Kinzhal’s existence in March that same year along with other missile systems he touted as unbeatable, describing how they could evade any enemy defenses.

Russian media have said it can hit targets up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) distant with nuclear or conventional warheads and that the missiles have already been deployed in Russia’s southern military district.

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