The war in Ukraine is now almost a month in, and Russia is getting desperate.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet been able to take over the key cities of Kiev or Odessa, and only seized the city of Kherson.
Russia is suffering a very high casualty rate and lost at least 6,000 soldiers, according to US sources. Ukraine says they have killed over 12,000 Russian troops.
One of the reasons is a steady supply of high-tech western weapons, like anti-tank weapons and missile systems. Putin says he wants these supplies to stop; now, he just launched Russia’s secret weapon to put a point on it.
Russia Launches Kinzhal
Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missile is a powerful and extremely rapid system that Russia claims to have used to hit an ammo storage unit in western Ukraine, early Saturday.
It’s unclear if this was actually used at this point; although video from close to the Polish border area does show a rapidly moving missile that then strikes with a loud boom.
If Russia has used a hypersonic missile, they are the first country to do so in war.
Hypersonic missiles travel faster than Mach 5, well above 3,800 miles per hour. Putin has long talked about Russia’s weapon capability and said the West should stay completely out of the conflict or face harsh consequences.
🚨🚨🚨 BREAKING: Russia has fired hypersonic Kinzhal ("dagger") missiles in Ukraine.
Officially, the weapons were used to destroy a munitions depot in Ivano-Frankivsk.
In reality, this is a MAJOR deterrent signal to NATO. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/3QvNSiMkLV
— Clint Ehrlich (@ClintEhrlich) March 19, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he wants negotiations with Russia to proceed if they are willing to respect Ukraine’s independence.
This strike is likely Putin’s method of trying to tell the West to back off and gain whatever remaining advantage he can in the negotiations. So far, Ukraine has refused to agree to Russia’s demands to recognize Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk.
American military experts are worried destructive hypersonic missiles aren’t the worst possibility either. Putin may use tactical nukes to hit Ukraine if his troops keep getting stonewalled and routed.
For one thing, Russia has been losing a lot of its top military leadership, including the recent elimination of Russia’s 8th Army Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev by Ukrainian forces.
NEWS from MOSCOW
Russia used Hypersonic missiles for the first time since its start of the special military operations
They destroyed the an underground warehouse where military weapons sent to Ukraine were kept
Russia told European countries to stop sending weapons to Ukraine pic.twitter.com/G0gHVpil5n
— Sphithiphithi Evaluator (@_AfricanSoil) March 19, 2022
The Bottom Line
This war is a month in and it’s going terribly for Putin.
Thousands of foreign volunteers have joined up with Ukraine. NATO is flooding them with weapons and over six of Russia’s top military brass have been taken out in the field.
Videos are emerging of Russian SWAT teams (Rosgvardia) running for cover as they try to fight without even proper training or understanding how to take orders during a firefight.
Putin’s chance of using tactical nukes is growing as his ability to win this war by conventional means decreases.
This war is a disaster for Moscow. The world needs to remain on very high alert as this plays out.