Russia claims it shot down four US-made long range missiles in Crimea – Firstpost

Representative image. Reuters

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its air defense forces shot down four US-made long-range missiles over the Crimean peninsula, weapons known as Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) that Washington has shipped to Ukraine in recent weeks.

The ministry did not provide details.

On Tuesday, Russian officials also said Ukraine had attacked Crimea with ATACMS in an attempt to breach Russian air defenses of the annexed peninsula, but that six had been shot down.

A U.S. official said in Washington last month that the United States has secretly sent long-range missiles to Ukraine in recent weeks.

The ATACMS missiles, with a range of up to 300 km (190 miles), were first used in the early hours of April 17, launched against a Russian airfield in Crimea that was about 165 km (103 miles) away from the Ukrainian front. lines, the official said.

The Pentagon initially opposed the deployment of long-range missiles because it feared that removing the missiles from the US stockpile would harm US military readiness.

There were also concerns that Ukraine would use them to attack targets deep inside Russia, a move that could lead to an escalation of the war toward a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States.

Russia captured Crimea and annexed it from Ukraine in 2014. The Black Sea Fleet is based on the peninsula.

On Thursday, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged 3 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) in annual military aid to Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” He added that London had no objection to its weapons being used in Russia. Moscow.

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