Russia Says Ukraine Planning Strikes in Crimea With HIMARS and Storm Shadows

Russia's defense minister says Moscow would respond with strikes on 'decision making' centers in Ukraine

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Tuesday that the Russian military has information that shows Ukraine is plotting to attack Crimea with US-provided HIMARS rocket systems and British-provided Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

“According to our data, the leadership of the Ukrainian armed forces is planning to deliver strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles,” Shoigu said.

The Russian defense minister warned that such strikes would make the US and Britain direct parties to the conflict and warned of a potential response.

“The use of these missiles outside the zone of our special military operation would mean that the United States and Britain would be fully dragged into the conflict and would entail immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine,” he said.

While the Biden administration has said it doesn’t want Ukraine using US-provided weapons on Russian territory, the restriction doesn’t apply to Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Ukraine and its Western backers don’t recognize the peninsula as Russian territory.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reiterated the US position last month. “We have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory within its internationally recognized borders,” he told CNN. “What we have said is that we will not enable Ukraine with US systems, Western systems, to attack Russia. And we believe Crimea is Ukraine.”

Sullivan’s comments drew protest from Moscow as Crimea is a major red line for Russian President Vladimir Putin, something Secretary of State Antony Blinken has acknowledged. But as the war drags on, the Biden administration is less and less concerned about escalating the conflict.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.