Russia will lie about using nuclear weapons says Korshunov
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The conflict in Ukraine stepped up again today when the Russian Ministry of Defence accused Ukraine of firing on a fuel depot in the southern city of Belgorod. The ministry’s spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said two helicopters had conducted a missile strike on their territory that ignited tanks in the civilian area. The claims remain unverified, and the Ukrainian defence ministry has declined to comment, but they encapsulate the ensuing conflict between the two nations.
How many hypersonic missiles does Russia have?
Russia is a nuclear-capable nation currently invading a non-nuclear neighbour that once exchanged its warhead supply for a promise of continued sovereignty.
Vladimir Putin has most of the world’s nuclear warheads at his disposal, with approximately 6,000 in total, more than the US and its closest allies combined.
He also has a range of delivery systems, with short to long-range models able to deliver these payloads.
The most devastating missile of them all is the hypersonic type, which has no known counter system.
Hypersonic missiles can deliver nuclear and non-nuclear payloads between five and 25 times the speed of sound.
In real terms, that is approximately one to five miles a second and would allow Putin to strike countries 1,000km away within minutes.
Only 15 hypersonic missiles exist in a formal operational capacity.
Those are split between Russia and China, but neither has officially unveiled its total hypersonic stock.
Russia claims to have launched two hypersonic missile programmes, the Kinzhal and Avangard.
And China has one, the DF-17, which entered service for the first time in 2019.
US officials recently claimed they have evidence Russia used hypersonic missiles in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden suggested last week that “warmonger” Putin had deployed non-nuclear payloads over its western border.
Speaking at a gathering of business leaders on March 31, he said Russia had “just launched” a hypersonic missile.
He added that it was the “only thing” they could get through to Ukraine “with absolute certainty”.
Mr Biden explained the capabilities of each hypersonic delivery system.
He said: “It’s, as you all know, a consequential weapon, but with the same warhead on it as any other launched missile.
“It doesn’t make that much difference except it’s almost impossible to stop it. There’s a reason they’re using it.”
At the same time, the President warned Russia was considering using chemical weapons.
Mr Biden warned that any evidence of this would demand a response proportional to “the nature of the use”.
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