Russia has said it has destroyed as many as four advanced rocket systems the US had given Ukraine. The Russian defense ministry said four high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) were taken down between July 5 and 20, in a big blow to Ukrainian resistance.
"Four launchers and one reloading vehicle for the U.S.-made multiple launch rocket systems (HIMARS) were destroyed," the Russian defense ministry said on Friday, according to Reuters.
HIMARS were part of the advanced rocket systems and munitions President Joe Biden had approved in early June. The HIMARS system is well loved by Ukraine's armed forces as they believe it is crucial in countering the Russian missile offensive.
"We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table," Biden had said at that time.
Ukraine believed HIMARS would be a gamechanger in the war that is about to complete five months. Kyiv had flaunted the HIMARS' effectiveness as it claimed the weapon system was used in the killing of top Russian generals.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian authorities said Major General Artem Nasbulin, the chief of staff of Russia's 22nd Army Corps, was 'liquidated' after HIMARS missiles hit the headquarters in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine.
HIMARS missiles have longer range than other artillery systems, a factor that helps Ukraine hit Russian targets far away. In Moscow's eyes, Washington's supply of HIMARS was directly intended to prolong the war and wear Moscow down.
The US has committed to send more HIMARS systems to Ukraine as part of its weapons package.