Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says his military has successfully deployed U.S.-supplied long-range missiles known as ATACMS for the first time, targeting Russian warplanes and ammunition depots. The Washington Post reports the missiles were armed with cluster bomblets rather than single warheads. Such weapons are banned by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which has been adopted by more than 100 countries, though not by Russia, Ukraine or the United States. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Biden administration’s decision to arm Ukraine with ATACMS “reckless” and “a grave mistake” but predicted the weapons wouldn’t change the course of the war.
President Vladimir Putin: “For Ukraine, nothing good will come of this. It just prolongs the agony. A while ago, they started the highly anticipated and highly advertised counteroffensive in Kherson right now. It has had no success. There have been losses, but no success.”
Putin made the remarks from Beijing following lengthy talks Wednesday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who greeted Putin warmly as an “old friend.” The pair discussed the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, and growing trade between Russia and China — estimated at nearly $200 billion annually.