Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday its forces had destroyed four U.S.-supplied high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) between July 5-20.
Ukraine has hailed the arrival of eight HIMARS in Ukraine as a possible gamechanger for the course of the war. The advanced weapons are more precise and offer a longer range than other artillery systems, allowing Kyiv to strike Russian targets and weapons depots further behind the front lines.
Moscow has accused the West of dragging out the conflict by supplying Kyiv with more arms, and said the supply of longer-range weapons justifies Russia’s attempts to exert control over portions of Ukrainian territory in the south of the country, beyond the eastern Donbas region, for its own protection.
Russia says it has now destroyed four of the launchers.
“Four launchers and one reloading vehicle for the U.S.-made multiple launch rocket systems (HIMARS) were destroyed,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a daily briefing on Thursday night, July 21.
On July 6, just days after the first HIMARS arrived in Ukraine, Russia’s defence ministry said it had destroyed two of them, releasing a video of the alleged strike.
Ukraine rejected those claims and said it was using the U.S.-supplied arms to inflict “devastating blows” on Russian forces.
The United States said on Wednesday it will send four more HIMARS to Ukraine in its latest package of military support to the war torn nation.