On September 16, a video of an unidentified flying object that landed in Stavropol, Russia, about 350 kilometres (220 miles) from the Ukrainian border, went viral online. At first, they thought it was an unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV) from Ukraine due to Russian media claims. Later, Twitter users saw parallels between the debris and the Russian Kinzhal missile.
Images of the September 14 event was published by a Twitter user going by the handle LotA. The unknown object, in the user’s opinion, was a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal, also known as the “dagger” or “Killjoy” in NATO, is an air-to-surface hypersonic aero-ballistic missile with nuclear warheads. It is capable of Mach 12 speed (2.5 mi/s), has a stated range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), and can execute evasive manoeuvres at any time during flight. It can be fired from MiG-31K interceptors or Tu-22M3 bombers, and it is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear bombs. It has been set up at airfields in the Western and Southern Military Districts of Russia. The Kinzhal entered service in December 2017 and is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons that Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled on March 1 of this year. Putin claims that some of them—certainly a very small number, at least given their high unit costs—have been fired during the recent conflict in Ukraine.