The US provided some of its longer-range ballistic missiles to Kiev amid the faltering counteroffensive
Russian forces have intercepted two ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles, the Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday in a press briefing. Last week Kiev announced that Washington delivered the weapons after months of Ukrainian requests.
Two ATACMS missiles were listed among projectiles fired by Ukrainian forces, which Russian troops apparently managed to stop in the past 24 hours. The others included an S-200 rocket modified to attack ground targets, two HARM anti-radiation missiles, and two rockets fired by HIMARS multiple launch systems.
The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, the weapon’s full name, is compatible with HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers that Western nations provided to Kiev last year to fire shorter-range munitions. The ballistic missiles have a range of up to 300 km, but the ones that Kiev possesses are believed to be of an older type, with a range of 165 km.
The Ukrainian military claims to have put its new capability to good use, striking Russian airfields. President Vladimir Zelensky claimed the weapons “have proven themselves”.
His Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has described the supplies as the latest mistake by the US in the Ukraine conflict.
“We, of course, will be able to repel these attacks,” the Russian leader told journalists, arguing that the weapons will not become a gamechanger on the battlefield and would merely “prolong the agony” of Ukraine.
Putin said the US decision simply drags it further into the proxy war with Russia, increasing the risk of an escalation.
According to Western media reports, Ukraine has received anywhere between “fewer than a dozen” to “up to 20” ATACMS missiles from the US.
October 25, 2023 at 05:23PM