- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Scoop: NATO Doesn’t Trust Ukraine With HIMARS, Operating Advanced Artillery Themselves, Source Says

© Lance Cpl. Megan OzakiU.S. Marines with 10th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, fire a reduced range practice rocket from a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during Exercise Rolling Thunder 22-2 on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April. 4, 2022.
U.S. Marines with 10th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, fire a reduced range practice rocket from a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System during Exercise Rolling Thunder 22-2 on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April. 4, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.07.2022
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The US has delivered 12 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, and the Pentagon announced Wednesday that Washington would soon send at least four more in the near future. The Russian military and the Donbass People’s Militias have accused Kiev of using the installations to strike civilian areas.
The HIMARS mobile artillery operating Ukraine are manned by outstaffed career NATO military personnel, and information regarding the advanced weapons systems’ operation is not being transferred to the Ukrainian side due to a lack of trust, a Russian security source has told Sputnik, citing intelligence received from sources inside the Ukrainian military.
“According to information received from sources in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, at least two HIMARS are operating in the southern direction, with the remaining 10 dispersed in the northern arc, in the area of active hostilities” in Donbass, the source, who requested anonymity, said.
“The crews of the artillery installations are manned by out-of-staff NATO military personnel, and guarded by private military contractors close to the Pentagon,” the source added.
Further, the source indicated that targets are selected using US military satellites, and that HIMARS operate in a shoot-and-scoot manner, quickly changing their positions after firing to avoid return fire, and never returning to positions where they have previously been deployed.
Members of the 17th Fires Brigade from Ft. Lewis fire two High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) rockets simultaneously in a training exercise at Yakima Training Center Nov. 1, 2007 in Yakima, Wash. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.07.2022
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In addition, the source said that each time that HIMARs salvos are launched, they are covered by several additional salvos from less advanced artillery, such as Uragan and Smerch, with the goal being to saturate Russian air defenses and deplete munitions before HIMARS rounds are launched. The mobile artillery are moved around and fired in the dead of night.
“Ukrainian MLRS crews which participate in the joint strikes do not know anything about their joint operations with HIMARS, and are often not even aware that they are a cover for HIMARS launches. They are informed only of the launch time and target coordinates,” the source indicated.
The Russian military has said that of the 12 HIMARS delivered to Ukraine, three have been destroyed in fighting in the Donetsk People’s Republic, two in the area of Malotaranovka, and one near the city of Krasnoarmeysk.
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On Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the US is considering Kiev’s request to provide Ukraine with longer-range munitions for its HIMARS, but that the existing rounds also pack a powerful punch. “The range of HIMARS, our GMLRS round, is 80 kilometers, and so that’s pretty good reach. It has allowed and will continue to allow [Ukraine] to get after those longer-range targets that they’ve been unable to reach,” Austin said.
Scores of civilians have been killed in attacks on settlements in the Donbass and eastern Ukraine using HIMARS. Last week, the LPR Joint Center for Control and Coordination monitoring mission reported that two civilians were killed in shelling of the city of Alchevsk using the US-made systems. A week before that, seven people were killed and 40 others injured in a HIMARS attack on the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region. At the beginning of July, DPR JCCC monitors said Ukraine had fired HIMARS at the city of Snezhnoye in the eastern DPR.
Developed in the 1990s by Lockheed Martin and introduced into service with the US military in the 2010s, HIMARS have a per-unit cost of $5.6 million, and at least 540 of the systems have been built. Along with the United States and Ukraine, the systems have been ordered or deployed by Australia, Estonia, Jordan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. Before their use in Ukraine, the advanced mobile artillery were used in the US wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deployed in US-occupied areas of Syria.
The system’s effective firing range varies dramatically depending on the round used, ranging from 2-92 km for standard rounds, and 300 km for the US Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has recently expressed confidence that NATO will eventually provide Kiev with the 300 km munitions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.07.2022
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