Russia claims it destroyed US-made Harpoon launchers in Ukraine
The Russian military says it has destroyed more US-made weapons in Ukraine. Several Harpoon anti-ship missile units were targeted by a ground-launched Iskander missile strike in Odessa Region, the defense ministry claimed on Tuesday during a daily briefing.
The report identified the location as being near the village of Berezan, some 20km northwest of the port city of Odessa. It offered no further details about the strike.
Last week, Russia claimed it destroyed two Harpoon missile systems near the village of Liman in the same region with a sea-launched missile strike.
The Harpoon is an anti-ship missile system made by Boeing. Several Western nations have supplied them to Ukraine. Officials in Kiev claimed that the weapon was a game-changer for the balance of military power in the Black Sea.
Some credited the threat posed by Western weapons, including the Harpoon, for Russia’s decision to withdraw from Snake Island two weeks ago. Moscow said it was a goodwill gesture meant to counter Ukrainian allegations that Russia was blocking grain exports from the country.
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 Petro 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.