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Finders, Keepers: Russia Intercepts Ukraine’s ATACMS Missile Bound for Crimea

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Yonhap News

On the 30th (local time), Russia announced that Ukraine attempted to attack the Crimean Peninsula with a long-range ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missile but was blocked.

Sergey Aksyonov, the head of the Crimean Autonomous Republic

appointed by Russia, claimed on Telegram that the ATACMS missile was shot down by Russian air defense in the airspace over the Crimean Peninsula.

He posted photos saying it was an unexploded ATACMS missile that fell near Donskoye and Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula but did not mention the specific timing or circumstances of the interception.

The Russian Ministry of Defense also announced that day that its air defense forces had shot down 10 Ukrainian drones, six American-made ATACMS missiles, and two French-made Hammer precision-guided bombs in the past 24 hours.

Vladimir Rogov, the president of the pro-Russian group “We are with Russia,” claimed on Telegram that the Ukrainian military attempted to attack Zhankoy and Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula with ATACMS missiles from the previous night but was thwarted by the Russian air defense network.

He added that the Ukrainian military attempted to attack civilians on the Crimean Peninsula using multiple ATACMS missiles.

Viktor Bondarev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Senate’s Defense and Security Committee and former Chief of Staff of the Aerospace Forces, said on Telegram that “Russia’s S-300 and S-400 Triumph air defense missiles are successfully combating Ukraine’s ATACMS.”

He continued, “I am confident that Russia’s intelligence agencies can quickly identify the locations of Ukrainian forces using the ATACMS.”

The U.S. secretly provided Ukraine with a new type of ATACMS missile with a range of 186 miles (300 kilometers) last week, instructing it to be used only within Ukrainian territory.

In response, Russia has criticized Ukraine, claiming that it will attack Russian territory, including the Crimean Peninsula, with these missiles.

Meanwhile, there are predictions that the Ukrainian military might provoke Russia during the extended holiday in May, which includes Labor Day (May 1st) and Victory Day (May 9th). The inauguration ceremony of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was successfully elected for the fifth term last month, will also be held on May 7th. Russian military expert Andrei Marochko told TASS, “The Ukrainian military is certainly planning some action, and the Russian military is prepared for the possibility of provocation.”Another military expert, Anatoly Martvichuk, predicted that the Ukrainian military could attack the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Crimean Peninsula and the Russian mainland, with about 40 missiles to coincide with President Putin’s inauguration.

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