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Ukraine Strikes Inside Russia: Alleged Use of U.S. ATACMS Missiles Targets Putin's S-300 System

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In a pivotal moment in the Ukraine War, Ukrainian forces allegedly struck a Russian S-300 system in Belgorod, potentially using U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles. This strike marks significant international military and geopolitical implications.

Ukraine Allegedly Strikes Russian S-300 Missile System in Belgorod

In a significant escalation of the Ukraine War, Ukrainian armed forces appear to have struck a serious blow against Vladimir Putin's missile units inside Russia. According to various Ukrainian military bloggers and media reports, videos and photos shared on June 3 depict an S-300 air defense system on fire in the Belgorod region of Russia. Well-known Ukrainian war correspondent Illja Ponomarenko among others circulated photos showing at least three components of the anti-aircraft system set ablaze. This incident marks a notable moment, especially after the U.S. recently expressed no objections to American missiles targeting military objectives within Russian territory.

Usage of American ATACMS in the Attack?

While the images and videos remain unverified, there's speculation that the recent U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, including ATACMS medium-range missiles, might have been utilized in this attack. These missiles, which are capable of releasing cluster munitions upon impact, could potentially hit multiple components of an anti-aircraft battery simultaneously. Such attacks bring into question the broader scope of international military agreements and the extent to which Ukraine can leverage NATO-supplied weaponry against Russian targets. Notably, this comes after the U.S. and other NATO members allowed their weapons to be used in a limited capacity within Russia, underscoring a shift in the geopolitical landscape.

Russian Advances and Demographic Shifts Amid War

Conversely, Russia has continued to make strides in Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin boasting that Russian forces have conquered 47 localities since the beginning of the year. This ongoing offensive has seen Russia pushing through the Donbass region and further north in Kharkiv, although achieving mixed results. The Russian president highlighted the challenges facing Ukrainian forces, particularly their shortages in ammunition and manpower. Additionally, Putin announced that over 160,000 new recruits have joined the Russian army in 2024, recruited largely through aggressive campaigns on social media and public posters. While a new wave of mobilization isn't foreseen, the conflict dynamics continue to evolve as both nations brace for prolonged hostilities.

  • The precise details and timing of the alleged attack on the S-300 system remain unclear, with neither Kiev nor Moscow officially commenting on the incident. Speculations suggest the usage of U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles, which have a range of up to 300 kilometers and can be launched from HIMARS multiple rocket launchers.
  • The geopolitical implications of Ukraine using NATO-supplied weaponry against Russian targets are substantial, signaling a more aggressive stance backed by international allies. Western military aid, particularly from the U.S. and Germany, plays a crucial role in Ukraine's defensive and offensive strategies amid the ongoing conflict.
  • Russia's territorial gains and recruitment strategies highlight a concerted effort to bolster their military presence in Ukraine. President Putin’s statements during the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg emphasized the recruitment of 160,000 new soldiers, offsetting previous losses and setbacks.
Daily Reports
Refs: | Le Parisien | Merkur |

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