Ukraine uses long-range ATACMS against Russia for the first time

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The U.S. provided Ukraine with powerful long-range ballistic missiles for the first time earlier this month, and its military has already used them twice in the last week against Russian forces, according to three U.S. officials. 

The first strike was about 100 miles inside Crimea’s border on the morning of April 17, targeting a Russian military airfield, according to the officials. The Ukrainian military used the U.S.-provided Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS, for the second time Tuesday night, targeting Russian forces east of the southeastern Ukrainian town of Berdyansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, officials said.

The Biden administration has not previously acknowledged sending ATACMS to Ukraine, but a National Security Council spokesperson confirmed that the U.S. has provided them. They were part of the $300 million military aid package unveiled March 12.

The NSC spokesperson said the administration did not reveal at the time that it was sending Ukraine the long-range missiles for operational security reasons. President Joe Biden directed his national security team to send the ATACMS to Ukraine secretly, the spokesperson said.