Ukraine: Russia said to be using more deadly weapons in war

UK defence ministry says Russian bombers have likely been launching heavy 1960s-era anti-ship missiles in Ukraine



An injured Ukrainian servicemen is transferred to a medical facility after getting an emergency medical treatment in the  Donetsk region. — AP
An injured Ukrainian servicemen is transferred to a medical facility after getting an emergency medical treatment in the Donetsk region. — AP

By AP

Published: Sat 11 Jun 2022, 8:45 PM

Ukrainian and British officials warned on Saturday that Russian forces are relying on weapons able to cause mass casualties as they try to make headway in capturing eastern Ukraine and fierce, prolonged fighting depletes resources on both sides.

Russian bombers have likely been launching heavy 1960s-era anti-ship missiles in Ukraine, the UK Defence Ministry said. The Kh-22 missiles were primarily designed to destroy aircraft carriers using a nuclear warhead. When used in ground attacks with conventional warheads, they “are highly inaccurate and therefore can cause severe collateral damage and casualties”, the ministry said.

Both sides have expended large amounts of weaponry in what has become a grinding war of attrition for the eastern region of coal mines and factories known as the Donbas, placing huge strains on their resources and stockpiles.

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Russia is likely using the 5.5-tonne anti-ship missiles because it is running short of more precise modern missiles, the British ministry said. It gave no details of where exactly such missiles are thought to have been deployed.

As Russia also sought to consolidate its hold over territory seized so far in the 108-day war, US Defence Secretary said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine “is what happens when oppressors trample the rules that protect us all”.

“It’s what happens when big powers decide that their imperial appetites matter more than the rights of their peaceful neighbours,” Austin said during a visit to Asia. “And it’s a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil that none of us would want to live in.”

Flamethrowers used in Luhansk

A Ukrainian governor accused Russia of using incendiary weapons in a village in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk province, southwest of the fiercely contested cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

While the use of flamethrowers on the battlefield is legal, Serhii Haidai, governor of Luhansk province, alleged the overnight attacks in Vrubivka caused widespread damage to civilian facilities and an unknown number of victims.

“At night, the enemy used a flamethrower rocket system - many houses burnt down,” Haidai wrote on Telegram on Saturday. The accuracy of his claim could not be immediately verified.

Sievierodonetsk and neighbouring Lysychansk are the last major areas of Luhansk province remaining under Ukrainian control. Haidai said the Russians destroyed railway depots, a brick factory and a glass factory.

The Ukrainian army said on Saturday that Russian forces also were to launch an offensive on the Donetsk province city of Sloviansk.

Moscow-backed rebels have controlled self-proclaimed republics in both provinces since 2014, and Russia is trying to seize the territory still in Ukrainian hands.


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