The British military announced Monday it would send its most advanced multiple-missile system to Ukraine, joining the United States in providing much-needed long-range artillery at a moment when Russia is using its huge weapons to take Ukrainian positions across borders to beat away Eastern Front.
The announcement comes days after the Biden administration said it would provide Ukraine with its most advanced multiple-missile system and munitions in hopes of giving the country an advantage over Russia.
“As Russia’s tactics change, so must our support for Ukraine,” said British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other senior Ukrainian officials have been arguing for such weapons for months, but it could be weeks before they have any impact on the battlefield. Ukrainian soldiers must be trained to use the systems, which are far more advanced than anything currently in Kiev’s arsenal.
The use of overwhelming and often indiscriminate force has allowed the Russians to make limited gains in eastern Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian military, Moscow’s forces shelled targets along the 75-mile eastern front line on Monday.
At the moment, Russian artillery can reach further than the weapons available to the Ukrainians, allowing Russian forces to fire rounds day and night without the Ukrainians being able to effectively retaliate. The barrages have taken a heavy toll on the Ukrainian army: the Ukrainian government said up to 100 soldiers die every day.
The decisions by the United States and Britain mark the latest escalation in a steadily increasing flow of weapons from the West into Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in late February.
The United States began sending heavy artillery into Ukraine in April. On May 26, a senior US Department of Defense official said it had shipped 85 M777 howitzers and 190,000 projectiles to Ukraine for use in those weapon systems.
The multiple rocket launcher systems supplied by the United States and Britain offer Ukraine the ability to hit Russian targets at far greater distances and with greater precision.
The American High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) can hit targets nearly 50 miles away and launch satellite-guided rockets that have about the same explosive yield as a 500-pound airdrop bomb. .
Britain’s M270 multi-launch missile system offers similar capabilities, Mr Wallace said, adding that they will “enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery that Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to demolish cities.” equalize ”
Before the weapons were delivered, the United States was promised by the Ukrainians that they would not use the long-range missiles to attack targets inside Russia. The BBC reported that the UK government had received similar assurances.
In statements by Russian state media on Sunday, Mr Putin dismissed the US weapons, saying they were “nothing new” but warned that if Russia felt threatened, it would “hit the facilities that we are not attacking so far.” .”