Russian Forces Claim Destruction of US-Supplied HIMARS in Ukraine

A US-made multiple rocket launcher was reportedly hit in the Kharkov Region.

A video posted online shows what appears to be a successful strike by the Russian military on a HIMARS multiple rocket launcher, provided by the US to Ukrainian forces.

A Telegram channel, which posted the clip on Thursday, said a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was destroyed near the village of Khotomlya, east of the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.

According to the report, a Russian surveillance UAV spotted the US-made system from above, and the HIMARS was later struck by an Iskander short-range ballistic missile.

The aerial footage captured a major explosion in a wooded area where the launcher was located.

The Washington Post has claimed the HIMARS is one of the systems that the Biden administration has permitted Kiev’s forces to use since late May, in strikes from Kharkov Region into Russia’s Belgorod Region.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Ukraine’s ability to fire US-supplied weapons deep into Russia goes beyond Kharkov and “extends to anywhere that Russian forces are coming across the border from the Russian side to the Ukrainian side to try to take additional Ukrainian territory.”

Kiev received dozens of HIMARS launchers from the US and some EU countries in 2022. The system has been touted by Ukrainian officials and Western media as a precision tool to strike high-value assets, but debris from HIMARS munitions have repeatedly been recovered after strikes on purely civilian targets.

Since the start of the conflict, the Russia Defense Ministry has reported destroying HIMARS launchers and shooting down missiles fired by them on numerous occasions. The Washington Post said last month that Russian forces have been successful at jamming HIMARS munitions through electronic warfare.

In early June, the Pentagon announced that it had expanded a contract with arms maker Lockheed Martin to deliver HIMARS launchers, increasing the value of the equipment ordered from $861 million to nearly $2 billion.

Moscow has warned repeatedly that deliveries of weapons and ammunition to Kiev by the US and its allies will not prevent Russia from achieving its military goals, but merely prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to officials, the provision of arms, sharing of intelligence, and training of Ukrainian troops effectively means that Western nations have become de-facto parties to the conflict.