The Russian military said Monday that it destroyed S-300 anti-air missile systems provided by a European state to Ukraine’s military.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it struck a hangar “on the southern outskirts of the city of Dnepropetrovsk,” where “equipment from an S-300 battery supplied to the Ukrainian regime by one of the European nations,” according to state-run media.
Moscow did not say how many S-300 systems, which were produced during the Soviet Union, were destroyed or damaged. It’s also not clear what country provided the S-300s to Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov also said in a statement Monday that about two dozen Ukrainian soldiers were also targeted in the airstrike. The Russian military used Kalibr cruise missiles to carry out the attack, he said.
Last week, Slovakia, which shares a small border with Ukraine and is a member of NATO, announced it would donate one of its S-300s to Kyiv. The weapon system was provided to Slovakia when it formed the eastern half of Czechoslovakia during its Warsaw Pact days.
But Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger said Russia’s claims about destroying an S-300 system is “a hoax” and was “officially confirmed by [Ukraine].”
“Our S-300 system has not been destroyed,” said Lubica Janikova, spokeswoman for Heger, in a statement on Monday. It’s not clear whether the Slovak officials were referring to the same airstrike that Russia was referring to.
Last week, Heger further said that by providing the S-300 system to Ukraine’s government, “It is our duty to help, not to stay put and be ignorant to the loss of human lives under Russia’s aggression.”
On Monday, meanwhile, Kyiv’s government said that its forces were still fighting and holding out in the besieged city of Mariupol.
“Communication with the units of the defense forces heroically holding the city is stable and maintained,” Ukraine’s military commander-in-chief, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, wrote on Facebook. “We are doing the possible and impossible for the victory and the preservation of the lives of personnel and civilians in all directions. Believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine!”
Also Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Kremlin would not halt its operation for any new round of peace talks.
“A decision was made that during the next rounds of talks, there would be no pause (in military action) so long as a final agreement is not reached,” Lavrov said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times