Russia deploys hypersonic missiles in Kaliningrad

Russia announced on Thursday that it had deployed aircraft equipped with sophisticated hypersonic missiles. KaliningradIn a context of strong tensions around this Russian enclave surrounded by countries NATO, amid conflict in Ukraine. “As part of the implementation of strategic additional deterrence measures, three MiG-31s ​​with hypersonic Kinzhal missiles have been redeployed to the Chkalovsk airfield in the Kaliningrad region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. He added that the three aircraft would form a “24-hour operational” combat unit.

“Kinzhal” (“stab” in Russian) hypersonic ballistic missiles and “Zirkon” cruise missiles belong to a new family of weapons developed by Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, qualify as “invincible” because they can escape opposing defense systems. Russia has repeatedly announced that it has used hypersonic missiles in real-world conditions as part of its large-scale offensive in Ukraine since February.

Highly militarized territory

The deployment of the missiles in the already highly militarized territory of Kaliningrad comes amid a standoff between the EU and Moscow in recent weeks over the Baltic region. In June, Lithuania authorized the transit of certain goods into its territory in the direction of Kaliningrad, under EU sanctions imposed in response to the Russian offensive against Ukraine.

After protests and threats from Moscow, the EU asked Vilnius to authorize the transport of Russian goods by rail, excluding military equipment. Split between Poland and Lithuania, the Kaliningrad region is served by rail from mainland Russia.

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