Russia Deploys Hypersonic Missiles to Its Baltic Exclave

MOSCOW — The Russian military said Thursday that it has deployed warplanes armed with state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles to the country’s Kaliningrad region, a move that comes amid soaring tensions with the West over Moscow’s action in Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said three MiG-31 fighters with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles arrived at the Chkalovsk airbase in the Baltic Sea enclave as part of “additional measures of strategic deterrence.”

Ministry officials stated that warplanes are on constant alert.

The Defense Ministry released a video showing the fighters arrive at the base, but they did not carry the missiles.

The deployment of Kinzhal missiles to Kaliningrad as Russia’s campaign in Ukraine nears the sixth-month mark appeared intended to showcase the Russian military’s capability to threaten NATO assets. It borders NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Lithuania.

Learn More Where Russia’s War in Ukraine Stands—And What Could Happen Next

Moscow strongly condemned the delivery of Western weapons to Ukraine and accused the U.S. along with its allies of fueling conflict.

Russian military claims that the Kinzhal’s range is up to 2,250 kilometers (1,250 miles). It also flies at 10x speed of sound which makes it very difficult to intercept. Russia has already used the weapon against several targets in Ukraine.

Kaliningrad’s location has put it in the forefront of Moscow’s efforts to counter what it described as NATO’s hostile policies. Moscow has steadily bolstered its military force there by arming it with the most advanced weapons including Iskander missiles that can be guided precisely and a variety of air defense systems.

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