Ukraine says Russia has fired five Zircon missiles at Kyiv this year

Russian President Putin chairs a meeting via video link at a residence outside Moscow

(Reuters) - Russia has used five of its new hypersonic Zircon missiles to attack Kyiv since the start of the year, the city's military administration said on Monday.

The attacks are among more than 180 Russian missile and drone attacks launched against the Ukrainian capital in the first three months of the year, the administration said in a post on Telegram.

The sea-based Zircon missiles have a range of 1,000 km (625 miles) and travel at nine times the speed of sound, Russia says. Military analysts have said the missiles' hypersonic speed could mean greatly reduced reaction time for air defences and a capability to attack large, deep and hardened targets.

President Vladimir Putin confirmed in his annual state-of-the-nation address on Feb. 29 that Russia had used Zircon missiles in battle, without saying what sites had been targeted. He has described the Zircon as part of a new generation of unrivalled arms systems.

The Kyiv administration said the city had also been struck since the start of 2024 by six other types of missiles, including the Kh-101, an air-launched cruise missile of which 113 had so far been fired.

Russia also fired 11 Kinzhal missiles, another hypersonic weapon which travels at several times the speed of sound, at the Ukrainian capital this year, it said.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow. Russia regularly announces missile strikes on Ukraine against what it says are military and energy targets, though some missiles have also hit civilian buildings.

Over the past two weeks, Russia has escalated its long-range bombardment of power and gas infrastructure across Ukraine, causing significant damage and blackouts in several large cities.

It has also sought to hit political, military and manufacturing targets in Kyiv throughout the two years of its full-scale war against Ukraine.

(Reporting by Max Hunder and Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Gareth Jones)