Skip to content
Edit post

UK Defense Ministry: Putin flaunts Kinzhals for 'strategic messaging purposes'

by Martin Fornusek October 21, 2023 11:09 AM 2 min read
Mikoyan MiG-31K jets carrying Kinzhal missiles fly over Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2018. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent announcement of Kinzhal missiles-armed jet patrols over the Black Sea was mainly for strategic messaging purposes, as Kinzhals' actual performance has been lackluster, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its report on Oct. 21.

The Russian leader said during his visit to China that the Russian Air Force will start patrolling the Black Sea with MiG-31 aircraft armed with "hypersonic" ballistic Kinzhal missiles.

He linked this announcement to the recent uptick in the U.S. military presence in the eastern Mediterranean over the Israel-Hamas War. The Kremlin's leader was likely implying that Kinzhals, with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, can hold American warships at risk, the U.K. ministry said.

The report noted that this corresponds with the Kremlin's usual messaging for domestic audiences, portraying the West as an aggressor while Russia's hostile moves are justified as necessary self-defense.

Join our community
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Support us

The specific mention of Kinzhal missiles is intended to demonstrate the capability to produce and operate newly developed weapons, the report said. Kinzhals have long played an important role in Russia's military propaganda, emphasizing the country's supposed advances in military technology.

The U.K. report, however, stressed that the actual performance of Kinzhals during the invasion of Ukraine has been quite poor despite their impressive abilities "on paper."

"It remains highly capable on paper, able to fly at hypersonic speeds and evade modern air defense systems, although there almost certainly needs to be significant improvement in how Russia uses it to achieve this potential," the analysis said.

Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles, with a speed of up to 12,000 kilometers per hour, have been used in the past in strikes against Ukraine. Ukrainian forces managed to shoot down several of these missiles using U.S.-supplied Patriot air defense.

Russia’s Kinzhal missile is not hypersonic. Nor is it invincible
When the Kremlin says something, it should always be taken with a grain of salt. When it says something about its military prowess, one should take the claim with an entire salt mine. For years, Russia’s Kinzhal missile was portrayed by the Kremlin’s propaganda machine as an invincible,

News Feed

9:25 PM

Latvia sending 500 more drones to Ukraine.

Riga has prepared a batch of more than 500 drones to be sent to Ukraine, Latvian Defense Minister Andris Spruds said on July 22. Earlier this month, Riga announced it would send more than 2,500 combat drones of different types to Ukraine in July, worth 4 million euros ($4.3 million).
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
5:30 PM

Russia sentences US journalist Alsu Kurmasheva to 6.5 years.

A court in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan sentenced Alsu Kurmasheva, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalist with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship, to six and a half years in jail on a charge of "spreading false information" about Russia's Armed Forces, Associated Press reported on July 22.
3:57 PM

EU approves its first-ever military support for Armenia.

The Council of the European Union for the first time approved assistance under the European Peace Facility (EPF) to support the Armenian Armed Forces with 10 million euros ($10.8 million), according to the council's July 22 statement.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.