Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Russian Navy will receive Zircon hypersonic missiles within months.
Putin made the claim during a Navy Day parade in his hometown of St. Petersburg, where Tsar Peter the Great was praised for turning Russia into a naval power.
The president said the Zircon cruise missiles would be deployed in the coming months, allowing the Russian Navy to quickly deal with threats.
Putin said: “The delivery of these (missiles) to the Russian armed forces will begin in the coming months.
“The frigate Admiral Gorshkov will be the first to enter combat duty with these formidable weapons on board.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks at naval officers during the Navy Day parade July 31, 2022 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Saint Petersburg to review the main naval parade with over 50 military ships on Russian Navy Day. The Russian President made the statement during the national holiday. Getty
According to Portal, Putin continued: “The most important thing here is the capability of the Russian Navy … It is capable of responding at lightning speed to anyone who decides to violate our sovereignty and freedom.”
Russia first tested the Zircon in January 2020 and claimed it could reach speeds in excess of 6,600 miles per hour and hit targets at a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). This claim has not been independently verified.
Newsweek has reached out to the Kremlin for comment.
Putin’s announcement comes amid heated arguments and alleged attacks between Ukraine and Russia.
On Sunday, July 31, Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said in a
Telegram post that five people were injured in a suspected Ukrainian drone strike
Headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Russian-occupied Crimea.
Razvozhayev later confirmed that Navy Day celebrations in the city would be canceled after the alleged attack.
Ukrainian official Serhiy Bratchuk, head of the Odessa regional military administration, dismissed Russian claims of an attack, calling it a “provocation”.
According to the BBC, Bratchuk said: “The liberation of our Crimea will be done differently and more efficiently.”
Russia has faced international condemnation after more than 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in shelling in Olenivka, part of the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Ukrainian officials claimed that Russia slaughtered the POWs and disputed Moscow’s claims that Kyiv fired high-mobility artillery-missile systems at the site.
A video shared earlier this week that allegedly showed a Ukrainian prisoner of war being mutilated by a Russian soldier also caused widespread outrage.
While Newsweek has not independently verified the clip, Times of London deputy foreign editor Maxim Tucker tweeted that the video was “genuine,” according to investigative website Bellingcat.