KEY POINTS

  • As of early July, Ukraine received only four HIMARS systems from the U.S.
  • Eight more have been pledged to be handed over by mid-July
  • Ukraine has been depending on Western weapon supplies to push back Russian troops

The Armed Forces of Ukraine rejected claims made by Russia about its troops destroying two U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) missile launchers in the embattled Donbas region.

A statement by Ukraine's Joint Forces Task Force called the claims nothing, but fake Russian propaganda.

"Russian propagandists are actively spreading false reports about the alleged destruction of a US HIMARS artillery system," the statement in Ukrainian read. "We emphasize that this announcement does not correspond to reality and is nothing but a fake."

"The HIMARS rocket systems provided by American partners are constantly inflicting a crushing blow on the strategically important points of Russian occupying forces, which is leading to huge losses among the equipment, personnel and support of the occupation forces. Trust only verified sources and believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

The Russian military said Wednesday its forces destroyed the missile launchers near the front line in a village south of Kramatorsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, which is currently the main focus of Moscow’s military offensive after they captured the Luhansk region over the weekend.

“Near the village of Malotaranovi in the Donetsk People’s Republic, two launchers of the U.S.-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, adding a radar station for a Ukrainian-operated S-300 air-defense system along with a camp housing “foreign mercenary units” was also destroyed, Al Jazeera reported.

The ministry released video footage, which they claimed showed the strike. However, International Business Times could not independently verify these claims.

As of early July, Ukraine received only four HIMARS systems from the U.S., while eight more have been pledged to be handed over by mid-July.

Ukraine has been largely depending on Western weapon supplies to push back Russian troops that were sent by President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24 in what it calls a “special military operation.” The war, which is now in its fifth month, has claimed the lives of thousands of people, including civilians and children.

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Putin is a war criminal and his actions led the West in arming Ukraine and imposing tough sanctions on Russia that could cripple the country. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev responded to the comments saying attempts to punish Moscow could lead to risks of endangering humanity.

"The idea of punishing a country that has one of the largest nuclear potentials is absurd. And potentially poses a threat to the existence of humanity," Medvedev, now deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said on Telegram on Wednesday.

A resсuer works among ruins of an administrative building destroyed by Russian missiles in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv
A resсuer works among ruins of an administrative building destroyed by Russian missiles in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv AFP / SERGEY BOBOK
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