Russia shoots down six US-made ATACMS missiles

Russia said on Tuesday that its air defense systems had shot down six US-produced Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) launched by Ukraine over the last 24 hours.

Washington secretly shipped the long-range missiles to Kyiv as part of a $300 million military aid package for Ukraine that US President Joe Biden approved on March 12, a US official said last week.

Whether to send the ATACMS missiles with a range up to 300 km was a subject of debate within the Biden administration for months. Mid-range ATACMS were supplied last September.

The Russian defense ministry did not say where the missiles had been shot down.

“Ten Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, six ATACMS tactical missiles manufactured by the United States and two guided ‘Hammer’ aircraft bombs manufactured by France were shot down by air defenses,” the ministry said.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-backed head of Crimea, said ATACMS missiles were shot down over the peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

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