9 June, 07:26 PM

Ukraine's coastal defenses strengthened with U.S. Harpoon missiles, says defense minister

Ukraine's coastal defenses have been strengthened by the deployment of highly effective U.S. Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Facebook post on June 9.

"Our coastal defenses have been strengthened with highly effective Harpoon complexes," he said.

"Together with our Neptunes, (a Ukrainian anti-ship missile) the Harpoons are already forcing the enemy fleet to keep its distance to avoid the fate of the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship, the missile cruiser Moskva."

Ukraine sank the Moskva with two Neptune missiles on April 13. Russia said there had been a fire on board the ship, which detonated ammunition. It said the ship was under tow to Russian-occupied Sevastopol in Crimea, but later admitted the ship has sunk.

The fate of the 485 members of the crew of the cruiser is unclear. Russia claims one crew member was killed, 28 are missing, and another 396 were rescued. There is no way to independently verify Russia’s claims.

On May 23, Denmark announced that it would supply a launcher for Harpoon anti-ship missiles and coastal defense missiles to Ukraine.

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