Ukraine Hits High-Profile Targets Deep Behind Russian Lines

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According to new CNN reporting, Ukrainian forces apparently struck “about a dozen” significant targets well behind Russian lines this month, using foreign weapons to inflict substantial impacts on Vladimir Putin’s invading forces. Contextually, it appears as though the U.S.-provided HIMARS multiple launch rocket system is leading at least that portion of Ukraine’s fight.

Most of these recently struck Russian targets were at least 40 kilometers — or over 24 miles — behind the front. “What we’ve seen is the ability of the Ukrainians to use these HIMAR systems to significantly disrupt the ability of the Russians to move forward,” a U.S. defense official recently stated. “If the Russians think they can outlast the Ukrainians, they need to rethink that.” Command centers and ammunition storage facilities are among the Russian targets available to Ukrainians using long-range artillery systems like the HIMARS provided by the U.S. In recent days, large explosions in Russian-occupied areas in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions have taken place.

Vadim Denysenko of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said Wednesday that, in the past two weeks, “above all things thanks to the weapons that Ukraine received, we were able to destroy approximately two dozen warehouses with weapons and stocks of fuel and lubricants. This will certainly affect the intensity of fire” from Russian troops in Ukraine. Other powerful artillery systems moving to Ukraine from interests in the West include M777 howitzers from the U.S. and Canada alongside Caesar long-range howitzers from France, as CNN explained shipments.

The HIMARS system is “accurate to within two to three meters, two defense officials told CNN,” per that outlet. Thus, fewer rounds are required to take out a target. The HIMARS system the U.S. provided “appears to have been used in a massive strike against a warehouse in the town of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region on Monday night,” as CNN summarized Thursday. The warehouse stored Russian ammo.

“In Nova Kakhovka minus one Russian ammo depot. They brought, brought, stockpiled, stockpiled and now have fireworks at night,” Serhiy Khlan, who’s been involved with the local government in Ukraine’s Kherson region, stated. There are apparently worries on Putin’s side about the HIMARS systems. Russian journalist Yuri Kotenok said the HIMARS system constitutes “a serious threat. The liberated areas of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the DPR and the LPR, as well as the territory of Russia, fall under the possible fire of HIMARS.” His reference to supposedly liberated areas refers to Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian forces. Roman Sapenkov, a Russian journalist who saw a weekend strike at a Kherson-area airport, added: “I was struck by the fact that the whole packet, five or six rockets, landed practically on a penny. Usually MLRS lands in a wide area, and at maximum range they scatter like a fan.”

MLRS refers to multiple launch rocket systems such as the HIMARS system the U.S. provided. It’s seemingly been about a month since President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but that length of time doesn’t mean the U.S. has wavered in its support: just last Friday, the U.S. Defense Department announced another shipment of weaponry to Ukrainian authorities including 1,000 rounds of 155mm artillery shells of a greater accuracy than munitions previously used. Throughout the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders have been consistent in their push for defense assistance — meaning foreign weapons and related measures to help save the country from Putin.