Russian military says it has destroyed Western arms consignment in Ukraine

A convoy of Russian armoured vehicles drives along a road near Mariupol in the Donetsk region on May 20, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - The Russian military said on Saturday (May 21) it had destroyed a major consignment of Western arms in Ukraine's Zhytomyr region, west of Kyiv, using sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles.

The defence ministry said in a statement the strike took out "a large batch of weapons and military equipment delivered from the USA and European countries" and intended for Ukrainian troops in the eastern Donbas region where the fighting is concentrated.

Reuters could not independently verify the report, which also said Russian missiles had struck fuel storage facilities near Odesa on the Black Sea coast and shot down two Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft and 14 drones.

Meanwhile, Russia said on Saturday it was banning entry to 963 Americans including United States President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA chief William Burns.

The travel bans have only symbolic impact but form part of a constant downward spiral in Russia’s relations with the US and its allies since its Feb 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Separately, Russia's Foreign Ministry said it had added 26 new names to a list of Canadians it has barred from travelling to Russia, including defence chiefs, defence industry executives and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In Moscow's latest update on the war, which Russia calls a "special military operation", the defence ministry also said Russia had struck numerous Ukrainian command posts.

The West has stepped up weapons supplies to Ukraine since Russia's Feb 24 invasion and Russia's military is trying to intercept and destroy them.

Moscow says Western arms deliveries for Kyiv, and the imposition of drastic sanctions against the Russian economy, amount to a "proxy war" by the United States and its allies.

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