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26 Apr, 2024 12:04

Russian forces strike train carrying Western weapons – MOD

The attack took place in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic, according to the Defense Ministry
Russian forces strike train carrying Western weapons – MOD

Russian forces have struck a freight train carrying military equipment supplied to Ukrainian forces by Kiev's Western backers, the Defense Ministry in Moscow has said.

The combined attack involved aircraft, missiles and artillery, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“A train with Western weapons and military equipment was hit in the area of the settlement of Udachnoye in [Russia’s] Donetsk People’s Republic,” it added..

Udachnoye, translated as ‘lucky’ in English, is located in the western part of the republic.

Personnel and equipment from the 67th Ukrainian mechanized brigade were also struck at a railway loading station in the area of Balakleya in Ukraine’s Kharkov Region, the ministry said.

Over the past 24 hours, Russian forces have also destroyed five US-made M777 howitzers, two American M102 105mm lightweight towed howitzers, a US-designed AN/TPQ-50 counter-fire radar, a British FH-70 howitzer, and other hardware, according to the statement.

The flow of Western aid to Ukraine decreased drastically in recent months as Republicans in the US Congress resisted attempts by President Joe Biden to push through another $61 billion in military assistance for Kiev. The standoff, which had dragged on since the autumn, was resolved earlier this week when lawmakers passed the legislation and Biden signed off on it.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that the delays in aid from the US and the EU had led to “consequences” on the battlefield. Ukrainian forces have been “outgunned, allowing Russia to push forward on the front line,” he said. Stoltenberg argued, however, that “it is not too late for Ukraine to prevail because more support is on the way.” 

Russia has repeatedly warned that foreign weapons deliveries to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving its military goals, but will merely prolong the fighting and could increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to officials in Moscow, the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de facto parties to the conflict.