Russia says US HIMARS and warehouse full of ammunition destroyed in strike
Russia said it destroyed a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in its latest statement of a successful strike against the weapon the United States supplied to Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said his country’s forces managed to hit the multi-rocket launcher system that allowed Ukraine to target command centers and Russian ammunition depots.
“Around Kramatorsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a HIMARS launcher and a warehouse with ammunition were destroyed,” Konashenkov said during a video briefing on Saturday, according to the state-run Tass news agency.
He said strikes “by operational and tactical aviation and army, missile and artillery forces against military installations on the territory of Ukraine continue”.
Russian forces had also destroyed two Mi-24 helicopters at a helipad in the Domanevka area of the Mykolaiv region, he claimed. “Four command posts, personnel, weapons, military and special equipment in 143 districts were also affected,” he added.
Russia’s claim has not been independently verified and Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for comment.
Moscow has made a number of unverified claims in recent weeks that it had successfully targeted HIMARS that had been supplied to Ukrainian forces.
Also on Saturday, Russian Foreign Ministry official Alexander Darchiev reiterated claims that Ukraine’s military was using HIMARS to carry out strikes using US intelligence, a charge Washington has denied.
Moscow has repeatedly criticized the US arms supply to Kyiv, with Darchiev telling Tass that Washington was “increasingly becoming a direct party to the conflict”.
However, as previously pointed out Newsweekretired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Mark Cancian said the ammunition the U.S. has provided Ukraine for the systems could run out in the next three to four months.
He said Newsweek he estimated that the United States had given Ukraine around 10,000 HIMARS missiles and as such “will have to reduce the number of missiles supplied as supplies will run out”.
“I think there will be a series of discussions within the Pentagon,” Cancian added.
HIMARS missiles known as Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) have a range of over 50 miles. HIMARS also launches its weapons and can get away quickly before enemy forces locate the launch site and have been credited with helping Ukrainian forces hit important Russian targets.
Since the war began on February 24, the United States has sent $9.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including helicopters, drones and heavy artillery, in addition to HIMARS. Weapons include 7,500 Javelin anti-armour missiles and 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles