This story was previously LOCKED for Subscribers Only so they could know before the general public. It is now unlocked. A Russian nuclear-capable X-55 cruise missile was shot down by Ukraine air defenses over the capital city of Kiev today. A photo of the wreckage and identification of the actual missile model, and type, appears below. The X-55 is designed specifically to carry a single, 200kt, nuclear warhead.
According to preliminary information, early this morning Ukrainian Armed Forces shot down two cruise missiles over the capital city of Kiev.
One of them was a Kh-55 model (Russian designation X-55) which was originally developed to carry a single, 200 kiloton, nuclear payload.
However, this specific missile did not contain any warhead at all – instead, it contained a dummy imitator of a nuclear warhead used for missile testing purposes.
Here is a photo of the downed cruise missile, with the dummy replacement warhead still intact, from Ukraine, this morning:
This was no accident. This was no error on the part of Russia; it was, it seems, a Warning.
Covert Intelligence communications circuits are a literal blur, with all sorts of transmissions about this incident because this took place just three days after US CIA Director visited his Russian counterpart and explicitly told Russia of the consequences of using a nuclear device against Ukraine.
CIA Director Bill Burns met with his Russian intelligence counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, in Ankara, Turkey on Monday as part of an ongoing effort by the US to “communicate with Russia on managing risk.”
By sending the X-55, which had to be specifically pulled out of the actual Russian nuclear arsenal (they do not use this missile with conventional warheads) - the Russians are explicitly telling the US and NATO to "go fuck yourselves" and warning Ukraine, "the end is very near." Put simply, today's launch of this missile is Russia's reply to the US CIA Director about "managing risks" and this reply shows the US they have some risk they better manage as well.
US Mass-media has previously reported that national security adviser Jake Sullivan has also been in touch with his Russian counterparts to warn them of the consequences should Russia use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
Today's deployment and firing of a Russian X-55 shows that both Sullivan and Burns have not made any valuable impression upon Russia.
Now, there is a conventional variant of the X-55, the kh-555. Russia had used Kh-555 missiles to strike Ukraine before – these are “regular” rockets loaded with non-nuclear explosives. Meanwhile, the Kh-55 missile is the original model designed specifically to carry nuclear warheads.
Simply put, Kh-55 and Kh-555 use basically the same rocket, but with a different payload. However, it is simply impossible for this to be an accident; the X-55 cruise missile itself would have had to be pulled from Russia's separate and segregated nuclear storage. They don't have these missiles just laying around everywhere so someone could grab one by mistake.
This is, perhaps, the single most frightening display of Russia's willingness to win, ever undertaken. This incident changes everything for the US and for NATO because it makes clear the Russians will not back down, are not intimidated, and will not stop no matter what the US or NATO do.
Intel Circuits are blazing with the interpretation that this is a final warning to Kiev and to the US/EU/NATO.
It was just a couple weeks ago that news outlets in the US and EU reported word from a senior US Intelligence official that there had been "worrisome developments with Russia's nuclear arsenal." At the time, the official would not say what those developments were. Now, we know.