May 4, 2023
Ukraine on Wednesday combined two of its most effective weapons – U.S.-donated M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS and its own top-notch information warfare operation – to taunt Russian troops.
In a high-octane video tweeted out by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, a masked soldier calling himself Capt. HIMARS mocks Russia’s repeated claims that it has destroyed many HIMARS.
As of January, the Russian MoD claimed it destroyed 27 HIMARS. That despite the fact as of today, only 18 of 38 promised by the U.S. had been delivered, the Pentagon told us. The remainder will be procured through Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funding and contracting. The Pentagon is not aware of any HIMARS that have been destroyed, a U.S. defense official told The War Zone Wednesday.
The video opens with the soldier standing in front of a HIMARS launching its vaunted Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) munitions from an undisclosed location. These munitions, which can reach up to about 50 miles, have proven a game-changer for Ukraine as it has been able to conduct deep strikes on Russian logistics and supply hubs far beyond the front lines.
“Capt. HIMARS” in front of an M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launching munitions. (Ukraine MoD screencap)
Standing amid a cloud of rocket exhaust and flying debris, he delivers an ominous message in a computer-altered voice.
“Russian soldier! My name is Capt. HIMARS. I stand by my words. I don’t strike the barracks in sectors from where I get coordinates for armored vehicles and ammo depots.”
The video then cuts to the soldier standing inside what appears to a shelter with circular metal-ribbed support beams, as he waves a HIMARS launcher inside and continues his message.
“Capt. HIMARS” waiving the HIMARS into a Soviet-era bunker. (Ukraine MoD screencap)
“You’re constantly being lied to that there are barely any HIMARS left. Take a look at the conditions under which we store HIMARS. These are military facilities built during the Soviet Union period. They can even withstand nuclear strikes. Since the beginning of the war, not a single HIMARS system has been destroyed.”
The video then cuts to the soldier standing back outside as a HIMARS system prepares to fire.
“Russian soldier!” he says. “Keep sending me target coordinates so that death does not fall down from the skies on you.”
He then puts the walkie-talkie he is carrying up to his mouth.
“Fire!” he says.
The video then cuts to the HIMARS launching a GMLRS.
The video includes an email for Capt. HIMARS.
We reached out to him to see if he could tell us more about the bunkers and whether he has any concerns about operational security given that Russia would likely know where old Soviet bunkers are located.
We will update this story if he responds.
Before we head into the latest updates from Ukraine, The War Zone readers can catch up on our previous rolling coverage here.
One of the most popular (with the Ukrainians) and effective pieces of kit; HIMARS and still the defenders have only 18. This is a disgrace!
FFS get your fingers out and send 50 more, with ATACMS.
The mass murder of children must surely be ample motivation? As is the failure of the Budapest signatories to honour their obligations. There is not a shadow of a doubt that Ukraine thought that the Memorandum would protect them. Otherwise why would they sign it? What did Clinton say to Kravchuk to force him to sign when he was wavering?
There is not a shadow of a doubt that the US was providing blanket guarantees in Russia and Ukraine’s dispute over Crimea which pre-existed the agreement. In fact, I don’t believe it was ever discussed that the US would protect against Russia.
Why would the US promise so much more than the Chinese or French who also made agreements with Ukraine at the time.
Why would the US agree to pay for Ukrainian defense forever without any compensation. Previously, those nukes had been pointed at the US. We paid for our nukes to have a deterrence. Why would the US agree to pay to protect Ukraine against Russia when we #1 we already protected against nukes by our arsenal and #2 Ukraine couldn’t use them.
Read the Actual Memorandum for what happens if terms are violated! In a nuclear attack, the UN Security Council will take the matter up. Why would Ukraine agree to that if the suspected either Russia or the US would launch the attack. They wouldn’t because they knew either could veto anything, The agreement was signed to offer protection against nuclear attacks from other nations. It’s clear.
When anything else in the Memorandum is violated, the specified remedy is for the signatory to consult. The US has done that and provided aid. There is no clause such as in the NATO agreement that the US will intervene militarily in a conventional attack.
The fact is, Ukraine didn’t have a working nuclear deterrent. It would have been expensive for Ukraine to create one. And Russia likely would have taken exception to having a nuclear armed Ukraine.
The fact is that the US would never agree to footing the bill for Ukraine’s defense simply for not pointing a bunch of nukes at us anymore. Ukraine couldn’t use them without launch codes and couldn’t use them against the US without being toast.
If Ukraine honestly believed they were receiving US protection against Russia (who remember already had declared that Crimea was part of Russia), why didn’t they insist that to be stipulated in the Memorandum.
The US would never have agreed to that. That is why.
Pure kremtroll talking points. There was no “dispute” over Crimea. Russia fully accepted the 1991 border.
As usual, your posts are more suited to RaT than UT.
Let’s stick to the facts:
#1 Jan 1992 The Russian Foreign Ministry and parliament condemn the transfer of Crimea to the Ukraine in 1954.
#2 December 1994 Budapest Memorandum signed
It was definitely known at the time of the Memorandum that Russia claimed Crimea. This is history, known, and indisputable.
America never agreed to backstop Ukraine it it’s dispute against Russia. Why would it? Certainly the Memorandum contains no such language.
“If Ukraine honestly believed they were receiving US protection against Russia (who remember already had declared that Crimea was part of Russia), why didn’t they insist that to be stipulated in the Memorandum.”
Literally nothing you just wrote is true. That’s hard to do…
The Memorandum was from 1994 and Ukraine was independent in 1994. And “Russia” didn’t illegally annex Crimea until 2014. You have totally visited the wrong website to practice your propaganda. You will not find a more informed group of Ukraine supporters than this website.
Wrong website? This is what the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformations says:
The first challenge at the state political level was heard in 1992, when the supreme state council of russia recognized the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR of 1954, by which Crimea became a part of the Ukrainian SSR, as having no legal force.
You can find it at cpd(dot)gov(dot)ua
Too bad Russia doesn’t get to decide who is independent and who is not. Only YOU gave them that power.
No no. Crimea is Ukraine. They voted that way and it is law. I firmly believe that.
I have no dispute that the US should support Ukraine, democracy, and freedom and fight against genocide and crimes against humanity.
All I am saying is that there is no way the US intended to protect Ukraine against Russian claims on Crimea in the Budapest Memorandum.
It was known before the signing that Russia disputed the transfer.
Regardless what your stance about this is and how you attempt to twist and turn it, the Budapest Memorandum was a dishonorable act. Your arguments as to the US not really wanting to provide Ukraine with any help in case of an attack stinks. It stinks severely. It goes against anything that has to do with honor, righteousness and dignity. It’s something to be expected from a trash country, but not the United States of America. Even Bill Clinton recognizes this. Yet you cover for our dishonor and weakness at every turn. It’s the big problem in the US these days; people are willing to throw certain morals under the bus if it helps support their heroes. I am a conservative, yet I threw Trump under the bus as soon as his overly friendly relationship with Putler became obvious. I have honor, dignity and common sense.
You keep insisting that Ukraine couldn’t use those nukes, concurrently ignoring anything and everything that Ukraine has achieved in science and engineering. Some would call this being ignorant, others say this is plain stupid. Which is it?
And, to make it clear, Ukraine didn’t like the wording of the agreement, yet what damned choice did it have? That’s right, none. It signed the piece of toilet paper with a pistol aimed at its head, so to speak, not only mafia land’s pistol, ours too. A very disgusting act, it was, just to say, “We achieved a victory, we helped several countries in nuclear disarmament.” It was an unfriendly, not well-thought-out, and dishonorable act.
“In fact, I don’t believe it was ever discussed that the US would protect against Russia.
Why would the US promise so much more than the Chinese or French who also made agreements with Ukraine at the time.”
Your arguments are pure speculation. They are opinions, and nothing more. Even if they were to be based on facts, doesn’t make our behavior any better. The opposite is true. I don’t want such a United States. I want our word to be worth something. And, I don’t want to be compared with France and especially with China. I want us to stop supporting garbage nations and, instead, help those like Ukraine, once and for all. You, sir, are supporting whatever person is in charge that basically represents your political doctrine, even if he’s otherwise a weak, cowardly, dumb jerk.
On paper it looks like a disgrace, but these things eat ammo like there is no tomorrow.
Also, they do have the M270 launchers that use the same ammo.
I am not sure sending way more will really be useful as logistics to supply them with shells may not be sufficient.
Why does the HIMARS “eat” ammo?