FACT CHECK: Did Ukraine Hit Crimea With HIMARS Missile Strikes?
A video shared on Facebook claims Ukraine hit Crimean targets with High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) missile strikes in response to Russian strikes in Odessa.
There is no evidence Ukraine has used HIMARS to attack Crimea.
The U.S. has pledged to provide Ukraine with $8.2 billion in security assistance since the Russian invasion started in February, according to The Washington Post. A recent $270 million military package included four HIMARS and up to 580 Phoenix Ghost drones, the outlet reported.
A video shared on Facebook claims Ukraine is now using the HIMARS to strike Crimea. “HOT HUGE WIN! Russia Gets What it Did in Odesa – Crimea Suffered a Hail of Missiles HIMARS,” reads the video’s title. The 11-minute video shows a compilation of photos seemingly from the war in Ukraine and features a narrator providing more information about the alleged strike in Crimea.
Russian missile strikes hit the Ukrainian port city of Odessa July 23, only days after an agreement between Russia and Ukraine was reached to allow grain exports from the city to resume, The Economist reported.
However, there is no evidence that any HIMARS has been used to target Crimea. There are no credible news reports suggesting any Ukrainian strikes have occurred in Crimea, a territory the Russians have occupied since 2014. The Institute for the Study of War, which releases daily reports on the war in Ukraine, has not reported on any HIMARS being used to strike Crimea.
Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a Twitter account that tracks material lost and captured in the conflict, told Check Your Fact in an email that it was “not aware of HIMARS being used to hit Crimea at any point so far.” (RELATED: Did Ukraine Attack The Crimean Bridge?)
James Rushton, a U.K.-based security analyst, also told Check Your Fact that no such strike had occurred. “No, they haven’t hit Crimea with HIMARS,” said Rushton in a Twitter direct message to Check Your Fact. “They haven’t been given the type of missiles – ATACMS – that would have the range to hit targets in Crimea.” HIMARS has a range of 50 miles, according to Bloomberg, while the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) has a range of up to 190 miles.
This is not the first time false claims of a strike on Crime have circulated on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting Ukraine had attacked the Crimean Bridge earlier this month.