Three civilians were injured by a missile made in America that was fired by Ukrainian forces. in Eastern Ukraine in According to residents and debris found at the scene, September was a rare occasion when U.S.-supplied arms were connected to civilian casualties in The nine-month-old conflict.
The strike — from an AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile, which is fired from a fighter jet against ground targets like radar and air-defense systems — happened on Sept. 26 around 6 p.m. in According to residents, Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine is the best. The industrial city in Ukraine’s Donbas region has been the site of constant missile and artillery attacks since Russia invaded in February.
As Russia’s ground war in Ukraine is stuck and has continued to use a heavy drone and missile barrage, which has caused destruction of critical infrastructure and injured many civilians. Ukraine has relied heavily upon air defense systems, some of which have been sent from Western allies, to counter this.
In one case this month, officials from the United States and Poland said that a Russian-designed missile that crossed over Ukraine’s western border into Polish territory and killed two people was most likely an air-defense munition fired by Ukraine in Response to heavy Russian aerial attack.
The war in Ukraine has become defined by an almost unending barrage of munitions, and the make and origin of the thousands of bullets, artillery shells and missiles fired on the war’s front lines can sometimes be impossible to verify.
New York Times journalists were however able to identify the distinct metal fragments found at the site from an earlier strike. in September in eastern Ukraine, providing a window into where the billions of dollars of United States’ military aid sent to Ukraine can sometimes land.
“Three people got wounded, they say. No dead. It hit the apartment where no one lives, and in the next one, people got hurt,” Olga Vasylivna said that she was a local resident living near the site where the missile struck. Witnesses confirmed her account. “We had hits in this neighborhood before. Now we are afraid of every tiny rustle.”
A spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense did not respond to questions about the missile strike.
The effort to protect Ukraine’s skies and to destroy Russia’s own air defense systems has taken on new urgency in Recent weeks
The United States has announced two National Advanced Surface-to-Air (NASTA) aircraft this month. Missile Systems, or NASAMS, which fire missiles that Ukraine’s allies have in Large supply had been shipped to Kyiv. Six more will be delivered to Ukraine in The future.
The arrival of Western weapons into the Ukrainian military’s arsenal has at times required a degree of jury-rigging and improvisation — in this case, to enable Ukraine’s Soviet-era MiG fighters to fire the AGM-88, a missile it was not designed to carry.
No evidence has been found of Ukrainian forces deliberately targeting cities under their control. This suggests that the missile may have missed its target and malfunctioned. However, Russian troops have used the same tactic of targeting civilian infrastructure and populations as a central strategy.
The Kremlin often misattributed civilian casualties to malfunctioning Ukrainian air defences. These defenses struck residential areas, not intercepting incoming Russian drones and missiles.
We consider these things before we use anonymous sources. Is the information known by the source? What’s their motivation for telling us? Are they reliable? in The past? Can we confirm the information? These questions being answered, The Times still uses anonymous sources as a last resort. At least one editor and the reporter know the identity.
The missile struck the top floor on a five-story apartment building in Soviet-style. It exploded upon impact and bore a distinct hole. in the building’s side.
Kramatorsk, which was located approximately 20 miles from the location where Ukrainian forces tried to retake the strategic rail hub Lyman from Russia in September, was about 20 miles away. It is unknown if the missile missed its target and flew onwards, or if it malfunctioned.
Two U.S. defense officials said there was no evidence that Russian forces were present in Since the United States began providing weapons to Ukraine, HARM missiles had been captured or used by the country.
Nearly immediately following the blast, images of debris and shrapnel A local Ukrainian-run Telegram channel posted the manufacturer numbers and decals indicating that the missile was a U.S.-made AGM-88B high speed anti-radiation missile. MissileOr HARM.
The New York Times’ reporters went to the scene and examined the shrapnel. It contained an assembly number, linking it to an electronic card assembly. in An AGM-88B is listed in an online database that allows people to search for information about U.S. government property. The blast site also contained pieces of other destroyed munition that were compatible with older U.S. missiles.
The AGM-88 took place developed by the U.S. Navy and Air Force After the Vietnam War, specialized warplanes were developed to carry out missions to destroy enemy air defense missile sites. The missile scans electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from radars at homes and surface-to air missile sites for specific types of radiation after it has been launched. in 40 pounds of explosives can be detonated at the radio signal source located more than 30 m away in The warhead is activated on impact.
It is not clear when AGM-88s were first provided by the Pentagon to the Ukrainian military. But in August, U.S. defense officials acknowledged that Ukraine’s forces were using the weapon in combat. They were also confirmed by videos posted to social media.
The AGM-88 intended target that hit the apartment building in It is not clear what Kramatorsk did, but it could have failed to locate an enemy radar and instead struck the apartment after running out of fuel. Even if the missile misses its initial target, it will continue to fly and look for enemy radar targets.
The Pentagon has long dipped into aging stocks of equipment to supply Kyiv, sometimes leaving Ukrainian forces troops with worn-down matériel. An American officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the missile’s use, added that the AGM-88B that struck the apartment in Kramatorsk was almost certain to have come from surplus stocks as it has since been replaced with a newer model in Service with the American forces
The missile is only one of many munitions sent by the United States, and other countries that provide billions of dollars. in lethal aid to Ukraine. The Pentagon has announced four separate military assistance packages for Kyiv, including AGM-88 missiles, since August.
Reporting by The New York Times employees.