Russia says it shot down long-range US missiles given to Ukraine

(Reuters) - Russia's military said on Wednesday its air defence forces had shot down two long-range U.S.-made ATACM missiles fired by Ukraine at Russian targets in what state media said was the first downing of its kind.

Russia's defence ministry reported the interception in one of its regular updates on the war in Ukraine, something Moscow calls "a special military operation."

It did not provide further details. Reuters was unable to independently verify Moscow's assertion, and there was no immediate comment from Kyiv or Washington.

Ukraine said last week that it had used the U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles for the first time, inflicting heavy damage on two airfields housing Russian helicopters and other equipment.

ATACMS are designed for "deep attack of enemy second-echelon forces," a U.S. Army website says.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that the United States was wading deeper into the Ukraine conflict and making a mistake by providing Kyiv with the missiles which he said would not alter the battlefield situation and could be repelled.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Leslie Adler)