Russia Boasts It’s Already Taken Out 4 US-Supplied Long Range Rocket Systems
Russia’s military has announced that it destroyed four of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) rocket launchers that the United States recently supplied to the Ukrainian army. It said this occurred in various places on the battlefield over the past three weeks. The Kremlin boasted it took out the launchers in “high precision” strikes.
“High-precision strikes with land- and air-based missiles destroyed four HIMARS multiple rocket launch systems and one ammunition and reloading vehicle between July 5 and July 20,” General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the defense ministry, said Friday.
Further detailing the Russian MoD statements, state media detailed that “Two of the launchers were destroyed near the settlement of Malotaranovka, south of Kramatorsk. Another, alongside the support vehicle, was destroyed near Krasnoarmeysk – known in Ukraine as Pokrovsk.”
And further, “The final one was destroyed on the eastern outskirts of Konstantinovka, the Defense Ministry specified. All three locations are on territory claimed by the Donetsk People’s Republic but under the control of Ukrainian troops.”
Western officials are deeply skeptical of the claim given the Russian military statement coincided with the White House announcing yet another major security package for Ukraine, including an additional four more HIMARS systems. The $270 million weapons package, which marks the 16th security aid package to Kiev, also includes over 500 tactical drones.
Commander of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley indicated this past week that 12 HIMARS have been successfully delivered to Ukraine’s military, which brings the total pledged by the US to 16.
The Russian claim hasn’t been independently verified, with the Ukrainians and many Western pundits dismissing it as Russian “propaganda” intentionally timed to warn the US on the occasion of Biden’s approving a new round of weapons.
Ukrainian leaders have called the longer range systems, capable of hitting targets 50 miles away, a “game-changer” and have urged for Washington to provide more. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, meanwhile, said Friday there is intense discussion underway about providing the Ukrainians with fighter jets, possibly from allies or the US itself – which is also looking at initiating a training program for Ukrainian pilots.
Sun, 07/24/2022 – 07:35