Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday it had destroyed a HIMARS artillery rocket system supplied to Ukraine by the United States, as Kyiv reports heavy Russian casualties using the new weapons during last week.
Earlier on Sunday, the representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Vadim Skribitsky, said in a television interview that Kyiv could use HIMARS to strike Russian military objects in annexed Crimea. According to him, the next target could be the Black Sea Fleet.
Ukrainian authorities said they killed nearly a dozen senior Russian officers and destroyed ammunition warehouses as they struck a Russian command post at Chorobaivka airport near the occupied city of Kherson last week. They also reported the destruction of six ammunition warehouses in southern Ukraine and eastern Donetsk region, according to The New York Times.
These targets were previously out of reach for Ukrainian artillery, but with the increase in the supply of weapons from the United States, the situation began to change, forcing the Russian army to focus on destroying the third HIMARS since the beginning of the month.
“After a HIMARS strike on the Kherson region headquarters, Major General Nasbulin, head of the 22nd Army Corps of the Russian Armed Forces, was killed,” wrote Serhiy Bratchuk, of the regional military administration. from Odessa, in a Telegram article. Last week.
According to him, among the dead Russian officers were also Colonel Kens, the commander of the 20th motorized rifle, Colonel Andrei Gorobyets, the head of the operational department of the headquarters of the 20th MRD, Colonel Koval, and the chief of artillery of the 20th MRD, Colonel Gordeev.
“In total more than 150 people died, including 5 officers,” Bratchuk said.
Russian media reported that five officers were killed in the attack while seven were missing. Moscow would also have been forced to move its military warehouses further from the front line.
“The Russian army has not stopped bombing, but it probably preserves its existing supplies of ammunition because these supplies have been disrupted by the work of our new long-range weapons,” said the head of the administration of the Lugansk region, Serhiy Hayday. .
Another HIMARS strike targeting a military base and an ammunition warehouse in the occupied Kherson region last week reportedly killed nearly 100 Russian fighters and damaged an anti-aircraft complex.
The United States began supplying Ukraine with HIMARS multiple rocket launchers earlier in June. These high-mobility artillery rocket systems have a range of over 40 miles, which is the longest range the Ukrainian army has in its arsenal. Washington has previously said the longer-range missile systems are provided to Ukraine on the condition that they will not be used to strike targets deep inside Russian territory.
Earlier on Saturday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his forces to step up attacks in the Donbass region as the invasion of Moscow entered a more aggressive phase with the recent brutal strikes on cities Ukrainians who killed dozens of civilians.