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Ukrainian military leaders deny using Javelin antitank missile systems in Donbas

KYIV. Nov 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – High-ranking Ukrainian military officials have insisted that the Javelin antitank missile systems that Ukraine has received from the United States as part of a military assistance package have not yet been used in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone in Donbas.

"As of present, Javelins have not been used in Donbas," the Internet publication Ukrayinska Pravda said with reference to Yaroslav Melnychuk, press secretary of the JFO.

Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said Javelin systems were used during exercises at the Shyroky Lan training range.

"Taking into account the record of combat actions in the Joint Forces Operation area, we have tested a new tactic of their employment in combat conditions and demonstrated it to the commanders of brigades and regiments. We also demonstrated comprehensive capabilities of their employment at nighttime and in poor visibility conditions," he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday evening.

Ihor Kopytin, head of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada defense industry subcommittee and a member of the Servant of the People faction, claimed earlier on Tuesday that the reports that Ukrainian forces used a Javelin system in Donbas were true.

"Reports have been circulated in the past few days that a Javelin antitank missile system has been used in the Joint Forces Operation zone. Yes, that’s true. Our military used it in a battle. I have no right for now to disclose where this happened and in what circumstances," he wrote on Facebook.