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Russia says it destroyed US weapons at airfield near Odesa

May 03, 2022

The Russian military said it destroyed weapons donated to Ukraine by the U.S. and its allies in missile strikes on an airfield near the port city of Odesa on Sunday.

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Russian Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Russian missile forces had struck several different areas in the southeast part of Ukraine with Oniks (also spelled Onyx) cruise missiles. Konashenkov said one of the strikes hit an airfield near Odesa where Ukrainian forces were keeping weapons donated from the U.S. and countries in Europe.

“High-precision Onyx missiles destroyed a hangar with weapons and ammunition received from the United States and European countries at a military airfield in the Odessa region and also destroyed the runway,” Konashenkov said.

Videos shared to Twitter purported to show the Russian missile launchers and their susbequent impacts near Odesa.

Konashenkov said the hangar in Odesa was destroyed as Russian forces targeted seven different facilities throughout Ukraine. He said three of the target facilities were warehouses of missile weapons and ammunition. Konashenkov said the other four targets were areas of concentration of Ukrainian forces and military equipment.

Konashenkov said Russian forces also destroyed two Ukrainian Su-24M fighter bombers, 12 drones, and two Tochka-U short-range ballistic missiles.

The Russian military did not provide any additional details on what types of U.S. and European-donated weapons it claims were destroyed in the missile strike near Odesa.

The U.S. and other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have donated tons of shoulder-fired Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. Other NATO-donated weapons include British-made NLAW anti-tank missiles, artillery systems and tactical drones, including loitering munitions like the Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost systems.

As of Sunday, the Russian military assessed it has destroyed about 150 Ukraine aircraft, 672 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 312 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) since it began its so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

“In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, 145 aircraft, 112 helicopters, 672 unmanned aerial vehicles, 281 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,703 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 312 multiple launch rocket systems have been destroyed,” Konashenkov said on Sunday.

Exact losses of Ukrainian equipment are difficult to verify with the ongoing fighting.

The organization Oryx has attempted to verify combat losses throughout the war in Ukraine by attaching photographic evidence to each piece of equipment destroyed so far. Oryx has documented 977 Ukrainian vehicles and weapons systems lost throughout the fighting so far, including 455 destroyed, 22 damaged, 35 abandoned and 465 captured.

Oryx has documented 19 Ukrainian planes destroyed and one damaged. It has documented another four helicopters destroyed and one captured. Oryx has recorded 19 more Ukrainian UAVs destroyed and two captured.

Oryx has documented losses for 42 Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile systems, 149 tanks and 16 MLRS.