Russian Military Claims Strikes on Ukraine's Southern Army Headquarters

Russia claims to have targeted Ukrainian army's southern command, intercepted US-supplied ATACMS missiles, and repelled attacks on Crimea, signaling escalation in the ongoing conflict.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Russian Military Claims Strikes on Ukraine's Southern Army Headquarters

Russian Military Claims Strikes on Ukraine's Southern Army Headquarters

The Russian defense ministry has claimed that its military forces have targeted the command center of the Ukrainian army's southern grouping using air force, missiles, and artillery. The details of the attack have not been independently verified at this time.

In addition to the reported strike on the Ukrainian army headquarters, Russia also claims to have intercepted six U.S.-produced Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) launched by Ukraine over the past 24 hours. These long-range missiles, with a range of up to 300 km, were allegedly part of a secret $300 million military aid package approved by U.S. President Joe Biden on March 12.

While the Russian Defense Ministry did not specify the exact location where the ATACMS missiles were intercepted, Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-backed head of Crimea, stated that the missiles were shot down over the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. The Russian military further claimed to have downed ten Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles and two French-manufactured 'Hammer' guided aircraft bombs.

Why this matters: The reported Russian strikes and the alleged use of U.S.-supplied long-range missiles by Ukraine mark a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict. The use of ATACMS missiles could potentially allow Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian-occupied territory, altering the dynamics of the war.

Reports suggest that Ukrainian armed forces have launched an assault on Russian outposts located on the Crimean Peninsula, focusing on three air defense units of the Russian Southern Military District. Missiles reportedly struck an air defense unit in the village of Donskoe, Simferopol region, causing a fire. The assault also targeted Russian military sites in the Black Sea and Saki region.

The Kerch Strait Bridge, a vital supply route for Russian troops, has been a potential target for Ukrainian attacks, with traffic on the bridge temporarily halted due to fears of a possible strike. The use of long-range ATACMS missiles by Ukraine could be a game-changer in the war, as they allow for strikes on key Russian infrastructure and supply lines.

As the conflict continues, the Russian defense ministry maintains that it has successfully repelled the Ukrainian attacks on Crimea, intercepting six ATACMS missiles, shooting down ten Ukrainian drones, and destroying two French-made Hammer guided air bombs. The situation remains tense, with both sides making claims of military successes and the potential for further escalation looming on the horizon.

Key Takeaways

  • Russia claims to have targeted Ukrainian army's southern command center.
  • Russia intercepted 6 U.S.-made ATACMS missiles launched by Ukraine over 24 hours.
  • Ukraine reportedly attacked Russian air defense units in Crimea using ATACMS missiles.
  • The use of long-range ATACMS missiles by Ukraine could alter the war dynamics.
  • Russia claims to have repelled Ukrainian attacks on Crimea, intercepting missiles and drones.