American Specialists are Behind HIMARS Attacks in Kherson Region, Local Authorities Say
05:21 GMT 23.07.2022 (Updated: 20:58 GMT 19.10.2022)
SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) - American specialists are behind the attacks recently launched by Ukrainian forces against the Kherson Region using the US-supplied multiple rocket launcher HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), the deputy head of the Kherson regional military-civil administration, Kirill Stremousov, said.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian troops launched strikes against the hydroelectric power station (HPP) in Novaya Kakhovka and the Antonovsky Bridge that crosses the Dnieper river in Kherson Region. At least a dozen of HIMARS missiles used in the attacks were downed by air defense.
"It is not Ukrainian nationalists who are behind the shelling of the Antonovsky bridge. These are specific actions of the Americans. American specialists who have arrived in Ukraine are firing at the bridge," Stremousov said, adding that the bridge will be restored in any case, military and civil engineers are already working on it.
He specified that, if needed, pontoon crossings could be set up across the Dnieper river within a few hours.
At the start of this week, Stremousov said that the Kherson Region was beefing up its air defense system amid intensifying missile attacks from the Ukrainian army.
The shelling of residential districts in Kherson by Ukrainian troops has become more frequent in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the city of Novaya Kakhovka was targeted by Ukrainian forces using the US-supplied multiple rocket launcher HIMARS. As a result, a hospital and residential buildings were damaged and several deaths were reported.
The Kherson Region and most of Zaporozhye Region of Ukraine are now controlled by Russia's military as a result of the special operation that began on February 24, after the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics requested help from Russia amid intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops. Local military-civil administrations have already been formed in the two regions, which have announced plans to hold referendums for accession to Russia.
A Russian security source said on Thursday that there are two HIMARS, supplied to Ukraine by the United States, currently deployed near the Kherson Region, while the rest are deployed in the Donbass area. The source said that, according to information received from the Ukrainian military, out-of-staff NATO personnel are in charge of the use of HIMARS systems in Ukraine.
The Pentagon has pledged to provide Kiev with more than 20 HIMARS, 12 of which have already been transferred.