Separatist leader claims ATACMS hit oil depot in Luhansk

Fire at an oil depot in Luhansk after a strike on May 7
Fire at an oil depot in Luhansk after a strike on May 7

Ukrainian Armed Forces probably used American ATACMS missiles to strike an oil depot in temporarily occupied Luhansk, claimed leader of “LPR” Leonid Pasichnyk in Telegram on May 8.

"The night strike on Luhansk's oil depot was allegedly carried out using Western-style ATACMS missiles," Pasichnyk wrote.

According to his data, five employees of oil depot were injured and hospitalized. Four ambulance crews arrived at site of strike, but, according to him, first aid is complicated due to a strong fire.

Strike damaged power lines and partially cut off power to houses in area of the oil depot, “LPR” leader added. A high-pressure gas pipeline is on fire, and all "Luhansk SES" units are involved in extinguishing fire.

ATACMS missiles for Ukraine

The United States had already secretly sent ATACMS to Ukraine, Reuters reported on April 24, citing an American official.

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Ukraine used them in strikes in Crimea last week, the Pentagon later confirmed.

Ukraine secretly received more than 100 ATACMS missiles and many cluster munitions from the United States in March, reported The New York Times on April 25, citing a high-ranking American representative.

Read also: ATACMS missile strike takes out 100+ Russian soldiers training in occupied Luhansk Oblast - OSINT analysts

Ukraine used the missiles received in March to hit the Russian airfield in Dzhankoy, Crimea, to destroy Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, and to target Russian troops in southeast Ukraine, the NYT said.

The U.S. would provide Ukraine with as many ATACMS missiles as it could, Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, said on May 1.

The draft law on aid to Ukraine, signed on April 24 by U.S. President Joe Biden, marked a new stage in American weapon delivery to Ukraine by including ATACMS long-range missiles.

Earlier, the White House was reticent to transfer the missiles to Ukraine, citing the risk of escalating Russia's war on Ukraine.

Read also: Pentagon: Ukraine authorized to target Russian forces in Crimea with ATACMS missiles

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine