Russia said on Monday that it destroyed a Soviet-designed S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system that was given to Ukraine by a European state. The Russian Defense Ministry said four S-300 launchers were destroyed in a strike that targeted a hangar outside the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
Russia didn’t specify which European country provided the S-300 that was targeted. On Friday, Slovakia said it transferred an S-300 system to Ukraine, but Slovak officials deny that the one they supplied has been hit. In a statement, Slovakia’s prime minister’s office called the Russian claim “disinformation.”
Russia has previously said that it would target weapons in Ukraine provided by the US and its NATO allies. In comments to Newsweek, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov warned that the Western effort to pour weapons into Ukraine could lead to direct conflict between the US and Russia.
“Western states are directly involved in the current events as they continue to pump Ukraine with weapons and ammunition, thereby inciting further bloodshed,” Antonov said. “We warn that such actions are dangerous and provocative as they are directed against our state. They can lead the US and the Russian Federation onto the path of direct military confrontation.”
The Biden administration facilitated Slovakia’s transfer of the S-300 system to Ukraine. In return, the US is deploying a Patriot missile system to Slovakia along with troops to operate it.