The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has released a video of a Black Sea Frigate launching four Kalibr missiles that destroyed the US and European arms depot in Ukraine’s Ternopil region. Ukrainian officials said that the strike injured 22 people.
Major General Igor Konashenkov, the chief spokesman for the Russian MoD, said, “High-precision long-range sea-launched Kalibr missiles destroyed a large warehouse near the settlement of Chortkiv, Ternopil region, with anti-tank missile systems, portable anti-aircraft missile systems, and artillery shells for weapons systems, supplied to the Kyiv regime from the United States and European countries.”
In the video released by Russia, four Kalibr cruise missiles are launched one after another.
Thereafter another footage appears allegedly depicting the moment when those missiles landed at their intended target, the weapons depot near the city of Chortkiv.
The Ternopil region’s governor confirmed the strike, who said a rocket attack on the city of Chortkiv fired from the Black Sea had partly destroyed a military facility, injuring 22 people. However, an unnamed local official reportedly said the facility had no weapons.
The Russian media sources have reported that up to 200 Ukrainian military personnel and around 80 foreign mercenaries were at the destroyed facility.
It alleged that the demolished warehouse contained up to 1,200 American and other MANPADS, about 1,500 anti-tank missile systems, at least 30 pieces of artillery, several tens of thousands of ammunition, and other weapons.
Russian Strikes In West Ukraine Aimed At Disruption Arms Supply
The strike was a rare attack in the west of the country, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US against sending longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.
Unlike eastern and southern Ukraine, which have been bearing the brunt of intense Russian shelling, the country’s west has had only sporadic attacks.
Russian strikes in the west are primarily aimed to disrupt the supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine.
For example, last month, the Russian military carried out similar missile strikes targeting electric power facilities at five railway stations across Ukraine that played a crucial role in supplying and distributing weapons to Ukrainian armed forces from the Western countries.
Since the onset of the Russian military invasion in Ukraine on February 24, the US, UK, and EU have sent billions of dollars worth of arms, ammunition, and weapon systems to the country that helped the Ukrainian armed forces thwart Russia’s initial military campaign to seize Kyiv.
The weapons are currently playing a central role in the intense battle for control of the eastern industrial region of Donbas.
Meanwhile, Russia has constantly been deploring the West for providing the war-torn nation with weapons, blaming the NATO nation for aggravating the crisis.
Ukraine Wants More Arms
That said, the Ukrainian leaders have renewed their pleas to Western countries in recent days to speed up deliveries of heavy weapons as Russian forces make significant territorial gains in the east, especially in Luhansk.
On June 10, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address that Ukrainian troops “are doing everything to stop the offensive, as much as they possibly can, as long as there are enough heavy weapons, modern artillery — all that we have asked for and continue to ask for from our partners.”
Zelensky said that “challenging battles” were ongoing, including in the eastern Donbas region, where Moscow has concentrated its firepower.
Severodonetsk and Lysychansk are currently at the center of the Russian military campaign, which would grant Moscow almost complete control of the Luhansk region.
Latest reports suggest that the Russian military forces have managed to occupy all of the residential areas in the Severodonetsk, and Azot industrial zone is at the center of the fight.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on June 12 that Ukrainian and Russian forces were still fighting street by street in Sievierodonetsk.
He said that while Russian forces have taken most of the city, Ukrainian troops remain in control of the Azot chemical plant, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering.
Ukraine has said some 800 people were hiding in bomb shelters under the Azot plant, including employees and city residents.
“No one can say whether and how many victims there have been in the last 24 hours in Sievierodonetsk, where intense fighting continues,” Gaidai said on the Telegram messaging app on June 12. “Everyone wants to evacuate now, probably, but so far, there is no such possibility.”
The siege is reminiscent of what happened in the port city of Mariupol, where civilians and fighters took refuge in and below the Azovstal steel plant before being surrounded and eventually surrendering to Russian forces after months of brutal fighting.
In addition, the Russian forces have also blown up bridges connecting Sverodonetsk to Lysychansk, cutting Ukrainian ground lines of communication.
Russian forces have moved north from Popasna, with the vital supply route from Bakhmut to Lysychansk being bombarded by Russian artillery.
If Russia successfully takes control of the route, Lysychansk will have only one supply road via Siversk.