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Military intelligence identifies Russian military personnel behind Kinzhal strikes

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 11, 2024 1:35 PM 1 min read
Remnant of Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile at an exhibition showing remains of missiles and drones that Russia used to attack Kyiv on May 12, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Oleksii Samsonov /Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine has identified Russian Air Force personnel responsible for carrying out Kinzhal missile strikes on civilians, Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) announced on May 11.

The advanced air-launched Kinzhal missile, which Russia claims is hypersonic, is difficult to intercept and shoot down. Ukraine's Air Force said in January that air defenses had intercepted 25 out of 63 Kinzhal missiles since the start of the full-scale invasion.  

Ukraine's military intelligence agency identified 29 people working as the command, flight, and technical staff from the 44th Separate Long-Range Aviation Regiment of the Russian Air Force, based at the Savasleyka airfield in Nizhny Novgorod.

Seven officers from the regiment's technical staff were also identified, as well as 11 MiG-31K aircraft numbers, Ukraine's military intelligence service said.

Up to 24 MiG-31K aircraft are attached to the regiment, according to Ukrainian military intelligence.

Kinzhal missiles are launched from MiG-31K aircraft and have an operational range of some 2,000 kilometers, which means that all of Ukraine is at risk if the missile is launched from Russian airspace.

In August 2023, a Kinzhal attack killed an eight-year-old child in Kolomyia in the west of Ukraine, and in March, Kinzhals were used to attack energy infrastructure in Lviv Oblast.

"There will be a fair retribution for every war crime committed against Ukraine," Ukraine's military intelligence agency said.

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