The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday said that four US-made AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles were intercepted over Belgorod, an oblast in western Russia that borders Ukraine.
The AGM-88 HARMs are air-to-surface missiles that are designed to home in on electronic signals emitted by radar systems. The Pentagon revealed in August that it began providing Ukraine with the AGM-88 HARMs and said they could be fired by Ukrainian aircraft.
“In the airspace of the Belgorod Region, four American HARM anti-radar missiles were shot down,” a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said, according to Russian’s TASS news agency.
Belgorod had come under attack throughout the war, including on Sunday, when the region’s governor said one person was killed and another eight were wounded by Ukrainian shelling.
This week’s attacks on Belgorod come after The Times reported that the Pentagon has given Ukraine its tacit endorsement of strikes on Russian territory, which risks a major escalation of the war. Publicly, Biden administration officials recently said that Ukraine could use US-provided weapons however they want.
The Times report said that the US was no longer concerned that Ukrainian attacks inside Russia could lead to a major escalation based only on the fact that Moscow hasn’t yet responded with nuclear weapons or attacks on NATO countries.