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27 Jul, 2022 13:35

Strike destroys over 100 US-made HIMARS rockets – Russia

The Defense Ministry says an ammunition depot was targeted in attacks that also killed Ukrainian forces and foreign mercenaries
Strike destroys over 100 US-made HIMARS rockets – Russia

Russian forces have targeted an ammunition depot in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk Region, destroying over 100 US-made HIMARS rockets, according to an update from Russia’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday.

“On July 24, a strike by Russia’s Aerospace Forces on an ammunition depot near the settlement of Lyubimovka, Dnepropetrovsk region, destroyed more than a hundred missiles for the US-made HIMARS Multiple launch rocket system,” the ministry’s report reads. It is also noted that up to 120 Ukrainian military personnel guarding the facility, as well as foreign mercenaries and technical specialists, were killed.

The update follows a Russian Defense Ministry report on Monday claiming that Moscow had targeted and destroyed US-supplied weapons, including heavy artillery in western Ukraine, using “sea-based high-precision long-range weapons.”

The US, which is Kiev’s biggest backer in its conflict with Moscow, had supplied Ukraine with 16 HIMARS systems as of July 22 while the UK has provided another three launchers capable of firing the same munitions. However, last week, the Russian military claimed to have destroyed four of these rocket launchers. Kiev officials have refuted these claims as “misinformation.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry also reported on Wednesday that its forces had carried out strikes on Ukrainian military personnel and equipment in 142 districts, destroying a number of howitzers and artillery platoons. According to the ministry, Ukraine has so far lost over 760 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and more than 3,200 artillery pieces since the beginning of hostilities in February.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.