Earlier claims surfaced in the conflict-torn Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from the Russian Ministry of Defense, asserting that its armed forces have been victorious in destroying two High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) missile systems, both of which were manufactured in the US. The Russian Defense Ministry also announced that Russian forces had destroyed two weapons caches stockpiling rocket launchers for the highly-advanced HIMARS near the combat line in the southern village of Kramatorsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. The Donetsk region is the primary focus of Moscow’s military offensive following the capture of the Luhansk region over the weekend.

“Near the village of Malotaranovi in the Donetsk People’s Republic, two launchers of the US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher and two associated ammunition depots were destroyed by air-launched high-precision missiles,” Russian defense ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said.

The ministry released video footage showing them carrying out the strike. But news agencies could not verify if the strike was legitimate or not.

However, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, General Mark Milley refutes the news that Russian forces destroyed US-sponsored rocket systems in Ukraine.

According to the general, “To date, those systems have not been eliminated by the Russians, and I knock on wood every time I say something like that.” “And they (the Ukrainians) are very effectively using them, employing precision weapons against targets,” he added.

Shelling in Donetsk devastates towns. (Screenshot from source: Reuters‘ YouTube Channel)

These allegations were also negated by Kyiv aside from the US. On Wednesday, Ukraine’s general staff disagreed with Russia’s version of events. The Ukraine staff stated that the assertions were “fake” and said that the troops were utilizing the HIMARS we supplied to impose “devastating blows” on Russian soldiers.

Russian Order

Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov, and Sergei Shoigu. (Source: kremlin.ruCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Ukrainian military has been edging towards Russia because of Western high-tech weaponry, specifically the HIMARS. That’s why during an inspection of the Vostok (East) group of Russian invaders, Sergei Shoigu gave an order to the commanding officer to prioritize the destruction of long-range missile and artillery systems used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to hammer the Russian occupiers. 

“Army General Sergei Shoigu, noting the strengthening of the group’s strike capabilities, instructed the commander to prioritise the defeat of the enemy’s long-range missile and artillery weapons with high-precision weapons.”