Self-HARM: US-Supplied Missile Injured Three in Ukrainian Apartment Block
11:11 GMT 24.11.2022 (Updated: 13:29 GMT 24.11.2022)
© SSgt. Scott StewartA view of an AGM-88 HARM high-speed anti-radiation missile mounted beneath the wing of a 37th Tactical Fighter Wing F-4G Phantom II "Wild Weasel" aircraft.
© SSgt. Scott Stewart
The US and other NATO and Western countries have sent huge quantities of arms to Ukraine since before the Russian military operation there — without any accounting for whose hands they reach or how they are used.
A US-made missile supplied to Ukrainian forces has injured three civilians when it hit an apartment block in the city of Kramatorsk.
A US newspaper belatedly reported the incident, which happened in September in the Ukrainian-held city in the north of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).
The report said an air-launched AGM-88 HARM — or High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile — designed to home in on and destroy radar stations and radar-guided air defence systems, "went astray" and hit the block of flats.
"Three people got wounded, they say. No dead. It hit the apartment where no one lives, and in the next one, people got hurt," neighbour Olga Vasylivna told reporters. "We had hits in this neighbourhood before. Now we are afraid of every tiny rustle."
A Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokeswoman did not reply to the newspaper's questions about the incident.
The US has supplied an unstated number of HARM missiles to Ukraine, which has adapted its dwindling number of Soviet-made jet fighter aircraft to carry and launch them.
The report came a week after a Ukrainian Air Force surface-to-air missile (SAM) fired from near the western city of Lvov hit a farm just over the border in neighbouring Poland, killing two civilians.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — backed by an anonymous US intelligence source — hurriedly claimed Russia had deliberately attacked the NATO-member state with two cruise missiles, urging the US-led alliance to get directly involved in the conflict.
NATO has recently supplied a variety of SAM systems and anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine, including ageing MIM-23 Hawk batteries.
The Kiev regime and its Western backers have repeatedly claimed Russian missiles regularly hit homes in Ukrainian cities, but Moscow denies targeting residential areas. Russia's United Nations (UN) representative Vasily Nebenzya said on Wednesday that the incidents are caused by Ukrainian SAMs, stationed inside cities, missing incoming targets and falling on urban areas.
"As a result, fragments of missiles or Ukrainian missiles that have gone astray hit those objects that Russia did not aim at," Nebenzya told the UN Security council.
"Your thoughtless pumping of Ukraine with weapons is already leading to the fact that civilians are dying from it not only in Donbass, but also in Ukrainian cities," he added.
Authorities in the DPR say Ukrainian forces regularly shell Donetsk and other cities with Western-supplied artillery, killing and injuring civilians indiscriminately.