Russia failed to 'put fear in the hearts' of Ukrainians with its new weapon, top US commander in Europe says

Russia failed to 'put fear in the hearts' of Ukrainians with its new weapon, top US commander in Europe says
Rescue workers look at the rubble of government building hit by Russian rockets in Mykolaiv on March 29, 2022.Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images
  • Russian forces have failed to scare Ukrainians with new weapons, a US official said.
  • Gen. Tod Wolters made the remarks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Russian forces have failed to "put fear in the hearts" of Ukrainians with their new weapons, the top US commander in Europe said on Tuesday.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Tommy Tuberville asked commander of the US European Command Gen. Tod Wolters why he believed Russian forces "shot hypersonics" in Ukraine when they didn't need to.

"I think it was to demonstrate the capability and attempt to put fear in the hearts of the enemy, and I don't think they were successful," Wolters said, and added that there "have been multiple launches. Most of them have been directed at military targets."

Wolters said it's unclear "based off the intelligence returns, but what I can say is most of those strikes had been designated at specific military targets."

Tuberville was referring to Russia's Kinzhal weapon, which is an air-launched ballistic missile first introduced in 2017.


Russia's defense ministry claimed the Kinzhal is a "hypersonic" weapon, but experts say it's actually not capable of meeting the standard to be designated as such and moreso resembles an Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile.

Moscow released footage last week claiming it used the Kinzhal in a recent strike targeting a Ukrainian missile warehouse near Kyiv. Ukraine has extremely limited ability to intercept incoming ballistic missiles.

Wolters told Tuberville that he has not seen Russia use any other new weapons during its ongoing month-long war against Ukraine, which has left thousands dead and cities flattened.

Russia's advance on Ukraine, however, has largely stalled across multiple fronts. Its Defense Ministry claimed it would scale back assaults on the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv, after announcing its forces would focus on eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul on Tuesday seem to have yielded more progress than previous attempts to bring the conflict to an end.


Ukraine said after the meetings that it wants significant security guarantees in exchange for giving up its NATO bid and adopting a neutral status.