Videos Show Fiery Detonation, Charred Remains of Russia's $800M Air Defense

videos show fiery detonation, charred remains of russia's $800m air defense

Russia's S-400 Triumph air defense missile systems ride through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2018

Ukraine launched U.S-supplied missiles in an attack that destroyed an $800 million Russian air defense system close to the front lines in eastern Ukraine, according to reports.

Russian Telegram channels shared videos on Thursday that purportedly show an explosion and the charred remains of a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system at an airfield in Mospyne, in the occupied Donetsk region. The attack took place on Wednesday.

A video of the destruction was posted by the "Jay in Kyiv" X (formerly Twitter) account, linked to the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation, which specializes in helping the Ukrainian Defense Forces and civilians affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war.

"That ATACMS strike on Russian occupied Donetsk yesterday has Russians whining that their $800,000,000 S400 missile system was destroyed along with a bunch of nice radar systems," the X account said.

Another video circulating on Telegram appeared to show the moment it was struck.

Newsweek couldn't independently verify the authenticity of the videos and has contacted Russia's Defense Ministry for comment by email.

The Context

The attack comes amid a Russian push to make significant gains in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking to seize Ukrainian territory before more military aid from Kyiv's allies arrives. The Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which comprise the Donbas area, are suffering constant shelling.

The U.S. recently secretly sent Ukraine Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) capable of hitting targets nearly 200 miles away.

What We Know

The Ukrainian attack on Mospyne was the first by Kyiv in the region using an MGM-140 ATACMS missile with a cluster warhead, Kremlin-installed authorities said.

Denis Pushilin, the acting head of Moscow's puppet Donetsk People's Republic, said six civilians were injured as a result of the Wednesday attack.

Telegram channels reported that five ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles were used by Ukraine on the airfield, and that multiple Russian air defense systems were destroyed and damaged.

Ukraine hasn't commented on the reported attacks. Newsweek has contacted Ukrainian authorities for comment by email.

The S-400 is a mobile surface-to-air missile system (SAM) that's capable of engaging aircraft, UAVs and cruise missiles, and has a terminal ballistic missile defense capability, according to the U.S.-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

CSIS states that Russia began developing the S-400 in 1993. It mostly uses the 48N6 missile series, which allows it to hit aerial targets at ranges up to 250 kilometers (155 miles), and the systems are capable of intercepting ballistic missiles across a 60-kilometer radius.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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