The United States and Britain recently announced plans to supply Kyiv with Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which can hit targets up to 50 miles away. The Pentagon said Washington will send four highly mobile M142 missile systems, known as HIMARS, even though Ukrainian forces need at least three weeks of training to use them. Britain confirmed on Monday that it will send an unspecified number of M270 launch systems to Ukraine.
Colin Cale, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy, left open the possibility that the United States would send additional missile systems in comments earlier this month. A US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the unresolved nature of the case, said no decision had been made as of Tuesday.
The official said General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet in the Normandy countryside, France, on Wednesday with other defense chiefs to discuss how best to support Ukraine. It was not clear if the issue would be addressed after that.
The Kremlin warned against arming Kyiv with long-range weapons. Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened In response he launched a large-scale bombing campaign, although he rejected its effectiveness. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has claimed that Ukraine will use the systems to strike targets inside Russia, although the Biden administration has said Kyiv has agreed to use the weapons only within its territory. (London did not say whether it had received similar assurances from Kyiv, but its shipment was made in consultation with Washington.)
Lavrov told reporters on Monday that Ukrainian leaders were “simply laughing at the Americans who said, ‘We believe that Zelensky promised us not to shoot Russia’.”
Kyiv said MLRS shipments top priority Because they lose land in eastern Ukraine. Earlier in the war, Ukraine had successfully repulsed Russian forces that tried to capture the capital and other major cities. But Moscow has achieved some recent victories in the flatlands of the East with the support of long-range artillery systems, Severodonetsk To become the newest city in danger of falling under Russian control.
Ukraine has made great use of equipment supplied from the West. Kyiv achieved many notable battlefield victories against Russian tanks and ships using materials such as Javelin missiles and British Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAW).
The Ukrainian Navy said this week that it had pushed back ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet 60 miles from the Ukrainian coast. The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, He said anti-ship missiles Introduction from the West He could have helped Ukraine regain control of parts of the northwest Black Sea.
“The war in the east at the moment is shaped by the role of artillery,” said Mick Ryan, a retired major general in the Australian Army, adding that 60 MLRSs would allow Kiev to replace potential combat losses while conducting the training.
He said that the estimated range of 50 miles of MLRS weapons provided by the United Kingdom and the United States exceeded that of the howitzers used by Russia and would give Ukraine “a much wider area of coverage for firing missions in a short time.”
Dan Lamotte contributed to this report from Carentin, France.
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