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ATACMS Appears To Have Hit Battlefield Ukraine In Spectacular Fashion

Apparent attacks on two airbases in Russian-occupied Ukraine provide the first major signs of the use of the U.S.-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), a short-range ballistic missile that Ukraine has been promised, but which it is not previously known to have received. In the past, The War Zone has pointed out that airfields packed with aircraft are exactly the kind of target that would be ideal for the cluster-warhead versions of these missiles.

For months now, there have been reports that deliveries of these systems to Ukraine have been imminent. A report today in the Wall Street Journal states that “A small number of the missiles have been secretly sent to Ukraine in recent days, where they will augment Kyiv’s capability to carry out long-range strikes at Russian forces during an important stage of its counteroffensive, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The Ukrainian Armed Forces say that they struck the two airbases at Berdyansk and Luhansk this morning, with claims that “helicopters, ammunition, and equipment of the Russian occupiers” were successfully targeted. While the strikes remain unconfirmed at this stage, there are very strong indications that at least one base did come under some kind of attack, and the implications for Russia could be very significant.