Russia has said its forces have destroyed Ukrainian multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) alongside U.S.-supplied weapons which have greatly boosted Kyiv’s war effort
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, said that his country’s forces had destroyed a Ukrainian platoon of weapons including the U.S.-produced M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
“During a counter-battery fight, a Ukrainian platoon of Alder multiple launch rocket systems and American HIMARS were destroyed near the village of Pyatigorskoye, in the Kharkiv region,” Konashenkov said, according to the Tass news agency.
The Alder is a Ukrainian-produced MLRS with guided ammunition that entered service into the Ukraine’s armed forces in 2018.
Konashenkov did not specify how many of the systems Russian forces had reportedly targeted. But he said Russian forces also hit platoons of Grad MLRS, Soviet-era Gvozdika and D-30 howitzers in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Nikolaev region.
Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian Defense Ministry regarding Moscow’s latest assessment of its gains.
As Newsweek has previously reported, over the last month Moscow has made a number of unverified claims about destroying HIMARS, whose accuracy and range of more than 50 miles have allowed Ukraine to strike dozens of Russian ammunition depots and command centers.
Ukrainian and U.S. officials have indicated at least 16 HIMARS have been delivered to Kyiv’s forces, with more reportedly on the way. Also set to be delivered is a new batch of munitions for the systems as part of a $1 billion military package which the Biden administration will announce next week, according to Reuters.
Among Russia’s claims are that its forces had destroyed a storage facility with HIMARS rockets in Radushnoe, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast on July 7.
On July 17, Moscow said it destroyed a single HIMARS launcher alongside a “loading vehicle” for it in Krasnoarmeysk, in the Donbas. As HIMARS do not need additional vehicles or equipment for reloading, there was doubt over the claim.
Further claims of strikes on the systems, which if true would take the number of destroyed HIMARS units to six, have been dismissed by Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said this week that there was no credible evidence to suggest that any of the HIMARS units had been destroyed or damaged.
It comes as British defense officials said that Russian forces had shifted convoys of military equipment and troops towards Kherson, in the southwest, where Ukraine’s forces are mounting a counter offensive.
The British Ministry of Defense’s assessment on Saturday described the development as signaling that the war was entering a “new phase.”
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