May 21, 2022 16:23 UTC
  • Russia says it destroyed Western arms haul in Ukraine with Kalibr missiles

Russia on Saturday said it has destroyed a major haul of Western weapons in Ukraine’s restive Zhytomyr region, west of Kiev, using sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles, amid growing tensions with the US and European Union states.

In a statement, Russia's defense ministry said it destroyed "a large batch of weapons and military equipment delivered from the USA and European countries" using Kalibr cruise missiles.

The weapons were intended for Ukrainian troops in the country’s eastern region of Donbas where the warring sides are fighting for control.

The ministry further noted that missiles struck fuel storage facilities near the Black Sea port city of Odesa and shot down two Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft and 14 drones. They also struck numerous Ukrainian command posts, it added.

Russia launched the military operation in Ukraine on February 24, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Western countries have responded to the Russian military operation by backing Ukraine with cash and heavy weaponry while imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russian officials and entities.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that such a flow of weapons to Kiev will only prolong the war, which is now into its third month.

The Kremlin says Western arms deliveries for Kiev, and the imposition of harsh economic sanctions, amount to a "proxy war" by the US and its allies. 

The latest development comes as US President Joe Biden signed a bill that provides nearly $40 billion of additional humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine.