Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Russia targets Ukrainian missiles as a sting of Western-supplied weapons


Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu chairs a meeting with the Armed Forces Command in Moscow, Russia, July 5, 2022. Russian Ministry of Defense / Posted via Reuters

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July 18 (Reuters) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered generals to prioritize destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery weapons after Western-supplied weapons were used to hit Russian supply lines.

Almost five months since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russian forces have been roaming the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine and now occupying about a fifth of the country.

The Defense Ministry said Shoigu, one of Putin’s closest allies, is inspecting the Vostok group fighting in Ukraine.

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The Defense Ministry said Shoigu “instructed the commander to give priority to the enemy’s long-range missile and artillery weapons.”

The ministry said the weapons were being used to bomb residential areas in the Russian-controlled Donbass and to deliberately set fire to wheat fields and grain storage silos. Reuters was not able to verify battlefield reports from either side.

The Zvezda news service showed Shoigu in combat fatigues speaking alongside Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov.

The United States and its allies have supplied Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons since the invasion of Russia on February 24, including long-range weapons that Kyiv says are beginning to help on the battlefield.

Ukraine says it has carried out a series of successful strikes on 30 Russian logistics and munitions centers, using several of the multiple launch missile systems recently provided by the West. Read more

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Moscow has emphasized its attacks on Western-supplied weapons in Defense Ministry briefings, accusing Ukraine of using long-range weapons to strike residential areas in separatist-held Donbass.

Separatist leader Denis Pushlin said on Thursday that two people were killed when Ukrainian forces bombed a bus station in the separatist-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, accused Russian forces on social media of bombing the center of Donetsk, but blamed Ukraine.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Guy Faulconbridge

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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