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Russia's hypersonic-missile ship in SA for war games

STORY: This is Russia's flagship frigate, equipped with new generation hypersonic missiles, arriving in South Africa's Richards Bay for joint naval exercises.

That's according to Russia's defence ministry which released this footage on Wednesday (February 22).

The ship, named "The Admiral Gorshkov of the Fleet of the Soviet Union," was arriving for the drills which include China and that South Africa calls "routine."

However, the exercises have fueled domestic criticism and fears they could endanger relations with Western partners.

South Africa says it is neutral on the conflict in Ukraine.

Last year it abstained from voting on a U.N. resolution condemning Russia.

The start of the exercises, off South Africa's eastern coast, coincides with the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine - which Moscow calls a "special military operation."

It also follows Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision, announced on Tuesday (February 21), to suspend its last major nuclear arms control treaty with the United States.

The Gorshkov warship carries the Zircon missiles which have a range of 560 miles.

They can travel at several times the speed of sound, making them difficult to defend against.

Putin has described them as "unstoppable."