US claims Himars missiles destroy over 100 key Russian targets in eastern Ukraine
The US is claiming Ukraine has used the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars) supplied by Washington to destroy more than 100 “high-value” Russian targets, including ammunition stores, command and air-defence positions and radar and communications hubs.
A US defense representative told the media that Himars has killed “hundreds” of colonels, “many” generals and “thousands” of lieutenants and captains.
“They can’t keep it up forever,” the unnamed defence representative said. “They have expended a lot of their smarter munitions….Their capabilities are getting dumber.”
The advanced weapons are more precise and offer a longer range than other artillery systems, allowing the Ukrainian forces to attack Russian targets and weapons depots further behind the front lines.
Ukraine’s forces have used Himars to hit a key bridge across the Dnipro river in a Russian-controlled area of Kherson region, damaging the road surface and prompting fears the bridge could be destroyed by further attacks.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday said the Himars were degrading Russian military capabilities.
“These strikes are steadily degrading the Russian ability to supply their troops, command and control of their forces, and carry out their illegal war of aggression,” he told the media.
Russian longer-range missiles are increasingly more likely to miss their targets and cause civilian casualties because its forces are increasingly using long-range air-defence systems to compensate for a shortage of ground-attack missiles, according to a UK military intelligence report.
The United States said on Wednesday that it will send four more Himars to Ukraine in a package of military supplies.
Ben Wallace, the UK’s defence secretary, said London would supply Ukraine with more Himars as part of its £2.3 billion export package.
On Friday, Russia claimed to have destroyed four Himars, which was quickly dismissed by the US and Ukraine as fake news.
Between July 5 and 20, “four launchers and one reloading vehicle for the US-made multiple launch rocket systems (Himars) were destroyed”, Russia’s defence ministry announced on Friday.
Serhiy Haidai, Ukraine’s governor in Luhansk region, which is largely under Russian occupation, said last week that Putin’s armed forces have been in “panic mode” since the Himars were deployed.
Himars.Picture credit: Wikimedia