Russia is saving hypersonic missiles for future use, and Putin is betting on AI.

So far, Moscow has not employed any hypersonic weapons in large numbers, and Ukraine’s current air defense is impotent against them, according to military expert Yury Netkachev.

“During the entire time of combat action, while carrying out the tasks of the special military operation, the 9-А-7660 Kinzhal hypersonic airborne system has been used only three times,” Netkachev noted.

“Only three missiles were launched and all at important targets. Meanwhile, back in 2021, in the Southern Military District, an entire platoon of the carriers of such weapons, hypersonic long-range fighter-interceptor MiG-31K aircraft, was created. So far there is no information as to how many planes it is supposed to include. Yet, I think that it is no less than 30. And their Kinzhal weapons capacity should be no fewer than 10 units per aircraft. So, potentially, Russia can hit no fewer than 300 strategic targets in Ukraine with 100% probability,” Netkachev said.

According to Moscow, strikes by Russia’s Military Forces against “Ukraine’s military command system and related electric power facilities” are effective, while Kyiv allegedly denies that most projectiles were downed.

“The Zelensky regime claims that for a greater reliability of its air defense, the US and NATO members should provide new supplies of air defense systems, including Patriot missiles. Both NATO and Ukraine are ready to continue hostilities,” the Russian news site TASS notes.

AI Challenges for Russia

According to Deputy Economy Minister Maxim Kolesnikov, the AI market has grown significantly over the past three years. However, Putin noted that because the system itself is now controlled by a “narrow circle of states and financial groups,” Russia is constantly under assault when it comes to international payments. Because of this, Putin demanded a system independent of banks and third-country interference.

Economist Vladimir Klimanov told Izvestia that new solutions concerning payments systems are necessary, as the West’s sanctions will be lifted for a while. However, cooperation with friendly countries on this issue is highly restricted because they fear being sanctioned by Moscow if they cooperate.