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Monday, July 15, 2024

US struggles to explain images of its destroyed hardware inside Russia

The Russian Defense Ministry released footage showing American vehicles used by Ukrainian militants in Belgorod attack

President Joe Biden’s administration has suggested that contrary to the footage shared by the Russian military and many other images posted on social media showing US-made military vehicles destroyed in Belgorod Region, the equipment used by Ukrainian militants in their latest attack on Russian soil was likely not supplied by Washington or its Western allies.

“We’ve seen some of the reports circulating on social media and elsewhere making claims that US-supplied weapons were used in these attacks,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters on Tuesday in Washington. “I will say that we’re skeptical at this time of the veracity of these reports.”

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Miller suggested that footage of the destroyed vehicles might be fake.

“We’ve seen a lot of reports on social media and fuzzy pictures on social media and a lot of kind of armchair intelligence analysts making claims,” he said. “We’re skeptical that they’re accurate.”

The images appear to show the disabled US-made equipment, including Humvees and at least one MaxxPro MRAP armored fighting vehicle. Nevertheless, when questioned on why US officials haven’t made a definitive assessment, Miller stood by his claim.

“We don’t have perfect clarity on the information,” he told reporters. “We’re looking at the same pictures you see, the same fuzzy images, and at this time, we are skeptical of their veracity.”

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Monday’s attack by a Ukrainian saboteur group targeted the Belgorod district of Grayvoron, where at least one resident was killed and several others injured. The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday published aerial footage purporting to show its destruction of the Ukrainian militant group, which left US-made armor on fire.

Another higher quality video showed multiple damaged and destroyed US-made vehicles scattered around in the aftermath of the attack. The ministry said Kiev has resorted to launching “terrorist actions” against civilian targets after its forces suffered defeat in Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine).