Ukraine Destroys 50 Russian Ammunition Depots With U.S.-Supplied HIMARS

Ukraine said Monday its military used U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket systems to destroy 50 Russian ammunition depots, as the weapon continues to bolster Ukrainian forces in their fighting against Russia's military.

The announcement comes as the Russia-Ukraine war enters its sixth month. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on February 24, hoping for a quick, decisive victory over Ukraine and "liberation" of its eastern Donbas region. But the Ukrainian forces have met the Russians with a stronger than expected response while receiving extensive military support from the West. Western weapons, including the HIMARS systems, have been credited with helping Ukraine withstand Russia's much larger forces.

Speaking Monday on national television, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that HIMARS, an acronym for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, is having an increasing impact on his country's resistance against the Russians, Reuters reported.

"This cuts their logistical chains and takes away their ability to conduct active fighting and cover our armed forces with heavy shelling," he said.

Ukraine uses U.S.-supplied HIMARS destroy Russian depot
Ukraine recently used U.S.-supplied rocket systems to destroy 50 Russian ammunition depots. Above, a U.S. HIMARS launcher vehicle in Morocco on June 9, 2021. FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

He added that Ukraine has conducted "precise" strikes on several bridges, apparently referring to river crossings in Kherson, a region occupied by the Russians.

What Is HIMARS?

HIMARS has emerged as a key weapon in the Russia-Ukraine war by giving a significant boost to Ukraine's military.

The rocket system provides "lethal" close and long-range precision rockets and missile fire support for forces and can be used in any weather or at any time of the day, according to the U.S. military. The rockets can achieve a range of up to 70 kilometers—about 43 miles—and "quickly enhance combat effectiveness."

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced last Wednesday that the U.S. would send four more HIMARS systems to Ukraine, whose government has praised the weapon for its effectiveness. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday the rocket systems have helped to "speed up the liberation" of Ukraine.

U.S. military experts have also noted the significance of Ukraine's use of HIMARS. Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, a former commander of U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army, tweeted Saturday about the importance of HIMARS to Ukraine. "As for HIMARS - w/ fewer rounds, greater range, precision accuracy - it's a game changer," he wrote.

As Russian military losses continue to grow, a senior U.S. official told reporters last week that Ukraine had used the HIMARS systems to take out more than 100 "high value" Russian targets.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukraine's Luhansk region, told Newsweek earlier this month that the Russians have been in "panic mode" ever since the U.S. began supplying Ukraine with the weapon.

Newsweek reached out to Russia's Foreign Affairs Ministry for comment.