Russia recognises first crew to use hypersonic missile in Ukraine -TASS

Oleksandr Ruvin, director of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise, shows Kh-47 Kinzhal Russian hypersonic missile parts in Kyiv.

(Reuters) - The first Russian crew to use hypersonic, air-launched Kinzhal missiles during Moscow's military operation in Ukraine has been presented with state awards, the Russian TASS state news agency reported on Monday.

"The Su-34 aircraft used the Kinzhal hypersonic missile during the special military operation," TASS cited an unnamed military source as saying. "The first crew that successfully completed this task was presented with state awards."

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special military operation". Kyiv and its allies say the 18-month-long Russian aggression is an unprovoked war to grab land.

Moscow has said very little so far about the Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile, but Ukraine's military Kyiv says Russia uses them frequently.

TASS did not say when Russia used the Kinzhal missiles for the first time in Ukraine. The Russian defence ministry said in March that the missiles had been deployed to destroy Ukrainian targets, according to the ministry's Telegram channel.

The Kinzhal is one of six "next generation" weapons unveiled by President Vladimir Putin in a speech in March 2018.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Gerry Doyle)