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.
Operational Command South confirmes that the Ukrainian forces have destroyed russian ammunition depot in the occupied town of Nova Kakhovka, Kherson region, on 11 July. pic.twitter.com/dBn0Zbqpiz
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) July 12, 2022
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 19fortyfive.com and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.