Russia-backed officials in the Kherson city in southern Ukraine have said specialist US soldiers were behind the attacks on Russian positions in recent days. Ukraine had showcased successful operations against the Russians in the region using the high-precision HIMARS rocket launchers.
Ukraine claimed last week that a senior Russian General belonging to the 22nd Army Corps was killed when missiles hit the headquarters in the Kherson region last week. It was claimed that US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) rocket launchers were used in the attack that killed Major General Artem Nasbulin.
According to Sputnik News, Ukrainian troops launched multiple strikes against Russian positions using the US-supplied rocket launchers. The strikes included those against the hydroelectric power station and a key bridge that crosses the Dnieper river in Kherson Region.
The Russian news agency also claimed that at least a dozen of HIMARS missiles used in the attacks were downed by air defense.
"It is not Ukrainian nationalists who are behind the shelling of the Antonovsky bridge. These are specific actions of the Americans. American specialists who have arrived in Ukraine are firing at the bridge," Sputnik cited Kherson administration officials as saying.
Kherson officials have beefed up the region's air defense capabilities amid increasing missile attacks from the Ukraine army.
According to Russian security sources, two HIMARS rocket launchers are currently deployed near Kherson, which is now controlled by Russia. The fall of Kherson, which happened in the initial phase of the war, was a key victory for Russia in the south. Many more of the HIMARS systems are deployed in the Donbass area, Sputnik added.
The report, which cites 'information received from the Ukrainian military', NATO personnel who are not longer officially associated with the western security bloc, are in charge of the use of HIMARS systems in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has pledged more security assistance and weapons package for Ukraine.
Washington's latest Ukraine war aid amounts to $270 million, which has provisions for giving Ukraine $100 million worth of drones as well as 580 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial vehicles from AEVEX Aerospace LLC. The US is also giving Kyiv around $175 million for other defense needs.
The latest package seeks to provide Kyiv more of the highly effective high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).
More Weapons for Ukraine
Reuters also reported that the United States is considering the option of giving Ukraine US-made fighter jets, in a sign that Washington is delving deeper into the war in Ukraine, which is entering the sixth month.
The Biden administration is assessing the situation and studying the feasibility of sending advanced fighters to Ukraine, White House spokesman told reporters on Friday, according to Reuters.
The US has so far given a whopping $8.2 billion in military and other aid to Ukraine since the beginning of Kyiv's conflict with Russia.