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Russia claims Ukraine used US-provided weapons to strike Crimea

by Chris York June 24, 2024 9:14 AM 2 min read
Russian Defense Ministry claimed Ukraine attacked Sevastopol with five ATACMS missiles on June 23, 2024. (Courtesy)
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The Russian Defense Ministry claimed Ukraine used American-provided weapons in a strike on occupied Crimea on June 23 that allegedly killed four people and injured 151.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed five U.S.-supplied Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles were used in the attack, four of which were intercepted with a fifth exploding in mid-air leading to "numerous casualties among civilians in Sevastopol."

Russian Telegram channels posted photos and videos of the alleged attack, reporting that many people were injured on the beach of Uchkuevka, a village in the northern part of Sevastopol.

"All flight missions for the American ATACMS operational-tactical missiles are entered by American specialists based on their own U.S. satellite intelligence data," the Russian Defense Ministry claimed in a post on Telegram.

"Therefore, responsibility for the deliberate missile attack on civilians in Sevastopol lies primarily with Washington, which supplied these weapons to Ukraine, as well as the Kyiv regime, from whose territory this attack was launched."

"Such actions will not go unanswered."

The reports could not be independently verified, and Ukraine has not commented on the news at this time.

Russian forces regularly attack Ukrainian towns and cities with cruise and ballistic missiles, and drones, killing and injuring civilians as well as destroying critical infrastructure.

Ukraine's military reported on a number of attacks against the Crimean peninsula in recent weeks, allegedly scoring successful hits against Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems.

Ukrainian forces reportedly destroyed two radars of S-300 and S-400 air defense systems near the Belbek military airfield and Sevastopol overnight on June 12.

On June 10, Kyiv also claimed a successful hit against S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems in several areas in occupied Crimea.

Federico Borsari, a Leonardo Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), told the Kyiv Independent on June 12, that the recent string of Ukrainian strikes against occupied Crimea may help degrade Russian air defenses in the area and decrease the threat to Ukrainian tactical aviation.

"The goal is to dismantle (the) Russian A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) bubble in Crimea before the arrival of Western fighter jets, especially F-16," Borsari said, adding the strikes also impose "serious capability losses and costs that are difficult to replenish and absorb."

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