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Putin Has a Problem: Ukraine’s New HIMARS Missile Hits Russian Ammo Depots

A HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket System fires during a training session at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Fla., March 9, 2012. HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is the newest asset of the Florida Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 116th Field Artillery Regiment.

The Ukrainian government has released a photo that shows Ukrainian forces destroying a Russian ammunition depot in the Russian-occupied village of Charivne, in the Kherson region of the country in a strike using U.S.-supplied HIMARS missiles. 

Video Tells the Tale, Shows the Damage

The photo showed several secondary explosions that lit up the night sky. In another incident, seven people were killed and as many as 80 wounded in another attack on an ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka, which is located 35 miles east of Kherson on the Black Sea. However, Russia claims that the missile strike only hit several homes and a fertilizer factory.  

In an interesting twist of irony, Katerina Gubareva, a Russian-installed government official in the Kherson region, said that Ukraine was bombing “peaceful cities with American weapons”. Meanwhile, the death toll of Russia’s attack on the eastern town of Chasiv Yar has risen to 45 after a five-story apartment was hit with multiple missiles.

“Following the successful destruction of ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka, another ammunition depot, in Charivne, was hit by an artillery unit,” the Operational Command “South” posted on its Facebook page.

The U.S.-Built and Supplied HIMARS

The M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) is a multiple rocket launcher system mounted to a 6×6 truck chassis. HIMARS was developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and carries a six-pack of GMLRS rockets and provides “shoot and scoot” capability. 

Ukraine lost the city of Kherson in the early days of the war but the Ukrainians haven’t given up trying to take it and much of the southern area of the country back with a counter-offensive while Russia has been occupied in the Donbas. They have been hitting back hard at the Russian forces. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian government in Odesa, wrote on the Telegram app that Nova Kakhovka was now “minus” its ammunition depot.

The British Defense Ministry’s latest intelligence assessment said that Russian forces had seized the town of Hryhorivka and continued their offensive toward the Donetsk province cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

“Russian forces are likely maintaining military pressure on Ukrainian forces whilst regrouping and reconstituting for further offensives in the near future,” the intelligence assessment added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his nightly video address to the people, said, “The occupiers have already felt what modern artillery is like, and their rear will not be safe anywhere on our land that they have occupied. 

“They have felt that the operations of our intelligence officers for defending their homeland are of an order of magnitude greater than any of their special operations,” he added. 

Zelensky has been very vocal on how effective the small sampling of advanced Western weapons has been at providing Ukraine artillery with the range to hit targets far behind the front lines with much better accuracy than their Soviet-era weapons. 

The Ukrainians have claimed that between June 28 and July 6, Ukrainian forces had destroyed 11 Russian ammunition depots. That is a testament to the accuracy and effectiveness of the HIMARS and M777 howitzers that they’ve been supplied by the U.S. and the West. 

Zelensky said that the advanced weapons from the West have allowed Ukrainian forces to inflict “very noticeable strikes on depots and other spots that are important for the logistics of the occupiers” which “significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army.”

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.



  1. Jacksonian Libertarian

    July 13, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    The guided missiles of the HIMARS are what the Ukrainians need. But, the short range 155mm Howitzers are a logistical waste unless they use guided rounds like the Excalibur. And still they are inferior to the HIMARS due to the men (3 vs. 11) and material required to use them, as well as the time required to move to a new location to avoid counterbattery fire.

  2. from Russia with love

    July 14, 2022 at 6:52 am

    I did not see a photo of the shells scattered throughout Novaya Kakhovka. if it really was an ammunition depot, then the shells would have scattered along the street, as happened in the “peaceful” shopping center in Kyiv.
    it seems that the version of the Russian side about the attack on the fertilizer warehouse (ammoniac nitrate) is more plausible. this means that the Ukrainian authorities have committed another war crime and the United States is directly involved in it.

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