Monday, Dec. 19 saw the first Ukrainian strikes inside Russia with advanced US missiles that President Joe Biden promised the Ukraine leader a week earlier. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Ukrainians used their fresh supplies of AGM-88 Harm missiles to strike power and water supply plants in the Russian town of Belgorod in retaliation for Moscow’s unceasing Iranian-made drone assaults on its vital facilities including power – in a bid to freeze Ukraine into submission.
The American AGM-88 is a high-speed anti-radiation missile designed to disarm the radar systems of antiair weapons. Powered with solid fuel, it can reach a speed of Mach 2 without generating smoke, which makes it hard for the targeted victims to detect in time to ward off its strike.
Our sources note that this missile attack was timed for Monday to coincide with an important summit President Vladimir Putin held with his Belarus ally, , Alexander Lukashenko. The first use of an American offensive weapon on targets inside Russia is expected in military circles to raise the stakes of the Ukraine conflict. Putin may decide to expand his campaign to crush Ukrainian resistance even to the point of taking his war across the border into its NATO neighbors, especially those keeping Kyev supplied with military equipment.