Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Putin asserted that Russia “will be able to repel” further attacks by the US-made ATACMS missiles.
Putin, however, acknowledged that the ATACMS posed an additional threat. However, he firmly maintained that this weapon would not alter the situation along the extensive 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) front line.
“Firstly, this of course causes harm and creates an additional threat. Secondly, we will of course be able to repel these attacks. War is war,” Putin said.
“For Ukraine, in this sense, there’s nothing good … it only prolongs the agony,” he said.,” he added.
Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, condemned Washington’s choice to provide ATACMS as “reckless” and “a grave mistake,” emphasizing that it would not change the outcome of the war.
Ukraine claimed it used US ATACMS missiles to destroy nine Russian helicopters, as well as ammunition, an air defense system and other assets at two airfields in Russia-occupied regions on Tuesday.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the effectiveness of these missiles, stating they had proven their worth. “They have performed very accurately. ATACMS have proven themselves,” Zelenskyy said.
The White House confirmed supplying Ukraine with the requested longer-range ATACMS missiles, capable of striking deep inside Russian-held territory.
Meanwhile, Russia claimed to have shot down two Ukrainian missiles targeting Crimea and warned of an escalation in the assault on Avdiivka. The town, a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, faced relentless Russian attacks. Russian forces had tightened their grip, controlling territory surrounding Avdiivka and pushing Ukrainian forces away from Donetsk.
Other parts of Ukraine also faced attacks, with casualties reported in Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro regions. Russian strikes damaged buildings and historical sites, including Zaporizhzhia’s Holy Intercession Cathedral. The conflict’s toll on civilian lives and cultural heritage continued to escalate amid the ongoing hostilities.
(With inputs from agencies)