Russian Official Accidentally Reveals Missiles Being Used in Ukraine

Igor Girkin, a former Russian military leader, appeared to accidentally reveal that Russia is using Tochka-U missiles in Vladimir Putin's war—weeks after the Kremlin denied that the weapons are being deployed by Russian forces.

"The Ukrainians destroyed an air defense base near Luhansk," Girkin, who uses the last name Strelkov on social media, said in a post on his Telegram channel. He took aim at the Russian military by saying that Russia failed to cover up Tochka-U launchers.

"There are unique shots of how, in broad daylight, without the slightest disguise, a train with Tochka-U equipment is moving south in the Tula region," he wrote, referring to footage that circulated on social media Tuesday.

"I understand that camouflaging tanks and infantry fighting vehicles - if there are absolutely no covers and even mask nets at the disposal of the RF [Russian Federation] Ministry of Defense - is, after all, not so necessary. But missile systems (even obsolete, but combat-ready) are the primary target for the enemy," Girkin wrote, pointing out the failures of the Russian command.

Ukrainian police inspect a large rocket
Igor Girkin, a former Russian military leader, appeared to reveal on social media that Russia is using Tochka-U missiles in Ukraine despite the country denying so in April. Above, Ukrainian police inspect the remains of a large rocket next to a train station in Kramatorsk that was hit by a rocket attack killing at least 35 people on April 8, 2022. FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

On April 8, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Russian forces use Tochka-U missiles. His statement came shortly after Ukrainian officials accused Putin's troops of striking a train station in Kramatorsk with a Tochka-U ballistic missile.

"We need to go by the statement of the [Russian] Defense Ministry, first of all, which ruled out that our armed forces utilized that missile," Peskov said. "Our armed forces don't use this type of missile, and also no missions took place or were planned for today in Kramatorsk."

"All the claims by representatives of the Kiev nationalist regime that Russia allegedly carried out a 'missile attack' on April 8 against the railway terminal in Kramatorsk are a provocation and have absolutely nothing to do with reality," Russia's defense ministry said at the time. "The Russian armed forces had no fire tasks and planned none in the town of Kramatorsk on April 8."

The ministry pointed fingers at Ukraine for the attack and said that the Tochka-U tactical missile that was found at the scene is used only by the Ukrainian army.

It's not the first time Girkin has taken aim at the failures and incompetency of Russian leadership and military command. In May, he said Russia's attack on Ukraine has "completely failed."

"It's not at all what the Kremlin planned starting the operation three months ago. It's absolutely not at all, and now for us, for all, for the whole Russian Federation, for the Russian people, and even for the Kremlin celestials, there is an acute question of what to do next?" he said in a video posted to YouTube.

Newsweek reached out to Russia's foreign ministry for comment.