No, these videos do not show a Russian hypersonic strike in Ukraine
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The Russian military claimed to have used a hypersonic missile on March 18 to strike an underground warehouse in western Ukraine. Two videos have emerged on social networks claiming to show this attack, but, in fact, they have nothing to do with this event.
The hypersonic missile that Russia reportedly used in Ukraine is called Kinzhal, which means "dagger" in Russian. The weapon weighs four tonnes and is about 7.4 metres long, and it can reach a speed of 12,000 km/h.
The defence ministry in Moscow claimed on March 19 that it had used the hypersonic missile. Ukraine confirmed a strike on an underground arms depot. If confirmed, this would be a world first, and Russia's first use of the Kinzhal in this war.
Following this announcement, two videos claiming to show the missile were published online. Both are false.
Drone footage of the hypersonic strike?
On March 19, the Russian ministry of defence posted a video on Twitter claiming that it showed the "destruction of a weapons depot of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by high-precision missile weapons strike".
The Tweet doesn't specify in which city this missile strike was filmed, and it does not name the Kinzhal weapon, adding to the confusion surrounding the hypersonic strike. This drone footage shows a missile strike destroying buildings.
💥 Уничтожение склада с вооружением ВСУ ударом высокоточного ракетного вооружения— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) March 19, 2022
◽️ На видео объективного контроля зафиксировано точное попадание ракеты в подземный ангар с вооружением и боеприпасами. pic.twitter.com/BxKGWHTB9V
Just a few posts before this one, the ministry of defence had posted a statement from a spokesperson regarding the supersonic missile strike. In that video, the spokesman announces that a supersonic missile was used on a weapons depot called "Ivano-Frankivsk-16" located near the town of Delyatyn in western Ukraine.
But, as explained by several users specialising in image verification, the location of the drone footage does not match up with the Delyatyn ammunition depot.
Satellite imagery of the base in question shows that the place does not at all resemble the location of the missile strike in the Russian defence ministry's video.
According to American media website The Drive, the strike seen in the drone footage posted by Russian authorities actually took place more than 1,200 km east of this location, in Topol's'ke.
The media outlet retrieved satellite images showing the strike location visible in the video. Comparing them with satellite images of Topol's'ke, the same damaged buildings can be seen. It is believed to be a farm that was hit on March 12, according to the satellite data.
It is impossible to say whether the farm was hit by a hypersonic missile. According to several analysts, the speed of the missile in the video, seen before the explosion, is lower than that of a hypersonic missile.
Hypersonic missile seen in the sky in Ukraine?
Another video, shared by some American conservatives, claimed to show the missile being fired into the Ukrainian sky. In the video, three swear words in Ukrainian can be heard following the missile launch.
Video making the rounds this am, reports that it is first combat use of Russian hypersonic missile - Kinzhal on a weapons depot near the Polish border pic.twitter.com/pVxqEWlT5J— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 19, 2022
But then again, as spotted by the Twitter account @AuroraIntel, the video appears in a compilation on TikTok.
On Telegram, the same video was published on February 24.
The FRANCE 24 Observers team has not been able to confirm the precise location of this video. However, this video, which is at least three weeks old, cannot show the supposed Kinzhal missile launched on March 18.