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‘Destroy it with high priority’

Image released by the Ukrainian army shows Himars missiles being fired near Zaporizhzhya.Image ANP / Zuma Press

After numerous videos of Russian ammunition depots and storage depots receiving a direct hit from a Himars missile, Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu arrived in Moscow on Monday with an urgent appeal. “Destroy, with great priority, the long-range missiles and artillery deployed by the Ukrainian forces,” the minister ordered a general whose troops are fighting in the Donbas.

It was the first time that such a senior Russian implicitly acknowledged that Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) pose an increasing threat to Russian military operations. Not a day goes by without videos appearing on Twitter and Telegram showing key Russian targets being hit by the most dangerous US weapon in Ukraine. From the Donbas to Kherson in the south.

The American missiles are guided to their target with GPS and can hit Russian command centers, supply lines and storage depots with great precision up to 70 kilometers. The western howitzers that Kyiv has received do not reach more than 50 kilometers. “Another Russian munitions depot destroyed,” Andri Jermak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote Sunday in a video of a massive explosion.

According to Kyiv, the depot was located in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainians now claim to have destroyed at least 30 Russian logistics centers and ammunition depots. In large part with the Himars, which can fire six missiles at a time, landing within meters of the target. The Himars have been in action in Ukraine for a little over a month now.

The success of the attacks is fueling some optimism in Kyiv, weeks after the loss of the Luhansk region. Zelensky said Monday night that the Ukrainian military is now able to inflict “significant logistical losses” on the Russians. Army chief Valeri Zaluzhnj even argued that with the timely arrival of the Himars, Ukraine had managed to “stabilize the situation.” “They inspire us,” the Defense Ministry tweeted about the Himars. “They frighten the enemy.”

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