Russia has deployed hypersonic missiles in its Baltic exclave

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Moscow — The Russian military said on Thursday it has deployed warplanes equipped with state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles in the country’s western Baltic region. Ukraine,

Russia’s Defense Ministry said three MiG-31 fighters with Kinzal hypersonic missiles arrived at Chkalovsk airport in Kaliningrad’s Baltic Sea exclave as part of “additional measures of strategic deterrence”.

The ministry said warplanes would be put on alert round the clock.

A video released by the Defense Ministry shows fighters arriving at the base but not carrying missiles, which were apparently delivered separately.

Finland’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that two Russian MiG-31 fighters were suspected of violating Finnish airspace in the Gulf of Finland, off the southern city of Porvu, west of Helsinki. The Nordic country’s border guard has started a preliminary investigation into the incident.

The deployment of Kinjal missiles in Kaliningrad nears the sixth-month mark as Russia’s campaign in Ukraine aims to demonstrate the capability of the Russian military to thwart NATO assets. The region borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

Moscow has strongly criticized Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine, accusing the US and its allies of fueling the conflict.

The Russian military says the Kinjal has a range of 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making it difficult to intercept. Russia has used this weapon to attack several targets in Ukraine.

The location of Kaliningrad has placed it at the fore of Moscow’s efforts in what it describes as hostile to NATO policies. The Kremlin has systematically strengthened its military forces there, equipping them with state-of-the-art weapons, including precision-guided Iskander missiles and a range of air defense systems.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev said on Thursday that “the events in Ukraine demonstrated that conflict with the collective West is a real possibility,” emphasizing that “a direct confrontation with the US and NATO is not in our interest.” Is.”

Speaking at a briefing, Nechayev said: “Russia as a nuclear power will continue to act with maximum responsibility” and that “Russian military doctrine is intended only in retaliation for an attack involving weapons of mass destruction or in the event of a nuclear reaction.” envisages when the very existence of the State is in danger.”

The Russian military is armed with conventional weapons that “allows to fully implement the goals set by the Russian President,” he said.

“We proceed from the assumption that the US and NATO are aware of where their aggressive anti-Russian rhetoric may lie, with an emphasis on the potential use of nuclear weapons,” Nechayev said.

He said Russia believes “a nuclear war cannot and should never be fought,” an opinion confirmed earlier this year by the five nuclear powers.

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