A Russian missile attack on an apartment building in southern Ukraine resulted in the tragic deaths of two civilians. In a parallel development, President Vladimir Putin downplayed the significance of a new U.S.-supplied weapon that Ukraine used to execute a highly damaging attack on Russian air assets.
Mr. Putin assured reporters that Russia possesses the capability to counter further assaults employing the U.S.-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Ukraine claimed it deployed ATACMS missiles to target and destroy nine Russian helicopters, ammunition supplies, an air defence system, and other assets in Russia-occupied regions.
The use of ATACMS marked a significant shift in the dynamics of the conflict. It will compel Russia to disperse its aircraft and munition storage depots, as aircraft were previously utilised to thwart Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive.
President Putin acknowledged the added threat of ATACMS but emphasised that it would not alter the situation along the 1,500-kilometre front line. He suggested that this development would only prolong Ukraine’s suffering.
Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, criticised Washington’s decision to supply ATACMS as “reckless” and a “grave mistake” that wouldn’t change the war’s ultimate outcome.
The conflict has reached a stalemate, with an expectation of a protracted war of attrition lasting through at least the next year. The U.K. defence ministry reported that Russian forces are currently attempting to advance in some parts of eastern Ukraine. However, well-defended areas make it “highly unlikely” for the Russians to achieve a major breakthrough.
The recent missile attack in southern Ukraine, launched from Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory, took the lives of two Ukrainian civilians and injured at least three others. The attack utilised six S-300 missiles and had a rapid response time of just 42 seconds, according to regional governor Yurii Malashko.
Russia’s defence ministry claimed that its forces successfully shot down 28 Ukrainian drones in different regions. However, specific details were not provided, and it remains challenging to verify the competing claims on the battlefield.