Tags: whitehouse | dod | johnkirby | ukraine | himars

WH: We Can't Confirm Russia Destroyed HIMARS in Ukraine

By    |   Wednesday, 04 January 2023 06:39 PM EST

The White House on Wednesday said it could not confirm Russian reports of United States-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, destroyed in Ukraine, The Hill reported.

On Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a progress report that missile strikes and airstrikes launched in eastern Ukraine destroyed "two launching ramps for U.S.-manufactured HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems [MLRS]."

But on Wednesday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, during a call with reporters, said the Department of Defense couldn't confirm Russia's claims.

"I've seen Russian claims that they hit a HIMAR system," Kirby said, "and in response to this, we have no information to confirm that report."

Euan MacDonald, editor-at-large of New Voice of Ukraine, reported that Ukraine's military had wrapped one of the HIMARS in bright yellow lights at night, which ostensibly would make it an easy target.

"It appears a Ukrainian crew actually did deck out one of their HIMARS launchers with Christmas lights to send some New Year's 'gifts' to fascist Russia's invasion forces," MacDonald said in a tweet alongside a video.

But in his talk with reporters, Kirby would go on to add that Russia has written misleading reports before. The Pentagon press secretary suggested it is part of President Vladimir Putin's disinformation campaign aimed at painting Russia's 10-month assault on Ukraine as a defensive operation to buffer NATO from its borders.

"Let's be just real crystal clear here," Kirby continued, "this is a war by Russia on Ukraine.

"And Mr. Putin can claim all he wants that this is some sort of fight against the West; it's existential for his security; it's the U.S. versus Russia; it's NATO versus Russia — we all know that's a bunch of B.S.

"Russia is the one who's visited violence on the Ukrainian people at a scale that is quite historic and unprecedented. And we are and will continue to provide them the kinds of systems and assistance that they need to defend themselves."

Last month, Congress approved a $45 billion aid package to Ukraine. The approval coincided with a visit to the Capitol and a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During his visit, Zelenksyy met with President Joe Biden, who later announced an additional $2 billion in aid, along with Patriot air defense missiles.

"The United States is committed to ensuring that the brave Ukrainian people can continue to defend their country against Russian aggression as long as it takes," Biden said. 

According to reports, the Biden administration in September is said to have delivered at least 18 HIMARS to Ukraine. This report came on top of others suggesting Ukraine had already been operating 16 HIMARS.

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Newsfront
The White House on Wednesday said it could not confirm Russian reports of United States-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, destroyed in Ukraine, The Hill reported.
whitehouse, dod, johnkirby, ukraine, himars
440
2023-39-04
Wednesday, 04 January 2023 06:39 PM
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