Russia tells its forces to target Western-provided weapons

Russian leadership told its forces this week to target weapons provided by Western countries in its assault on Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“Army General Sergei Shoigu, noting the strengthening of the group’s strike capabilities, instructed the commander to prioritize the destruction of enemy long-range missiles and artillery with high-precision weapons,” the ministry said, according to Interfax Ukraine.

Shoigu gave the new instructions to Russia’s Vostok battalion, which is currently fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that targeting these Western-supplied missile systems would help shield Russian troops settled in eastern Ukraine from being shelled.

Shoigu’s commands follow a $820 million weapons package approved by the Pentagon for Ukraine earlier this month.

The U.S. has sent several M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, which Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov called a “game-changer,” and plans on sending four more.

Russian forces have overwhelmed eastern Ukraine over past months, but new weapons systems have allowed the Ukrainian army to push back, Reznikov said.

The U.K., Germany and Norway have each recently sent M270 multiple-launch rocket systems to the embattled country.

However, Reznikov continues to plead with countries affiliated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to support Ukraine militarily as it defends itself against Russian troops.

“We needed to persuade them, to show them proof,” Reznikov said of Ukraine’s Western allies. “In the Izyum case, we were precise [in targeting] a Russian command center for aerial operations…Our partners saw it and said, ‘You passed the test.’”

Tags Oleksii Reznikov Sergei Shoigu

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