As Russian forces moved in on taking a major city in the east, the US and Germany promised on Wednesday to provide Ukraine with some of the heavy weaponry it has long coveted for shooting down planes and taking out artillery.
Germany has stated that it will offer Ukraine modern anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems, while the United States has stated that it will provide four advanced medium-range rocket systems as well as ammo.
The US is attempting to assist Ukraine in repelling Russian aggression without igniting a wider European conflict. The Pentagon claimed it has received guarantees from Ukraine that the additional rockets will not be fired into Russian territory.
The US, according to the Kremlin, is “pouring fuel on the flames.” Ukraine’s achievement in curtailing Russia’s much larger and better-equipped military, delaying its attempt to attack the capital and compelling Moscow to divert its emphasis to the industrial Donbas area in the east, has been largely due to Western armaments.
However, as Russia continues its eastward march, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called with more and stronger armaments, accusing the West of acting too slowly. The director of the Ukrainian president’s office, Andriy Yermak, praised the new Western armaments. “I am confident that we will triumph if we obtain all of the required weapons and reinforce the effective sanctions regime,” he said.
According to nearing retirement French Gen. Dominique Trinquand, a former head of France’s military operation at the United Nations, the new arms could assist Ukraine set up and holding new lines of defense in the east by striking back at Russian artillery shells that have been ravaging towns and cities and by restricting Russian airstrikes.
“The NATO countries — European nations and Americans — have gradually increased the means at their disposal for Ukraine, and this increase, in my judgment, has served to test Russian limitations,” he stated. “They analyze the Russian response each time, and since there isn’t one, they continue to send increasingly productive and advanced armaments.”
According to military experts, Russia is seeking to encircle the Donbas before any weaponry that could tip the balance arrives. According to the Pentagon, getting precision US weaponry and trained men onto the battlefield will take at least three weeks. Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl, though, thinks they will arrive in time to participate in the battle.
The rocket launchers are part of a new $700 million security support package from the United States for Ukraine, which also comprises helicopters, Javelin anti-tank missile systems, radars, tactical cars, replacement parts, and other items.
The rockets are extremely mobile and also have a reach of roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers). Ukraine had attempted but failed to obtain missiles and weaponry with a distance of up to 186 miles (300 kilometers).
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said Moscow does not believe Ukraine’s pledges that it will not shoot on Russian territory. “We feel the United States is purposefully and deliberately adding fuel to the flames,” he said. Later, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintzev went even further, alleging Ukraine of plotting to launch US-supplied missiles against Russian border areas from the northeastern Sumy region. The assertion, which is based on allegedly intercepted radio traffic, could not be independently confirmed.
Ukraine’s drive for more armaments, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, is a “direct provocation meant to pull the West into the battle.” He cautioned that the presence of many rocket launchers would increase the possibility of escalation. “Sane Western governments are well aware of such dangers,” he said.
The supply of IRIS-T air defense systems by Germany would be the first long-range air defense weaponry sent to Ukraine since the war began. Earlier supply of shoulder-fired air defense missiles improved the Ukrainian military’s capacity to shoot down helicopters and other low-flying planes, but not enough to threaten Russia’s air supremacy.
Germany has been under special fire for not doing more, both at home and internationally, from friends. The IRIS-surface-to-air T’s missiles, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are the country’s most contemporary air defense system. “We will be able to protect an entire city from Russian air raids with this,” he claimed.
In addition, the radar devices will aid Ukraine in locating enemy artillery and weaponry. The weaponry declarations came as a regional governor claimed that Russian forces now regulate 80% of Sievierodonetsk, a crucial town in Moscow’s work to complete its acquisition of the Donbas, where Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists have spent years fighting and where the separatists held swaths of land even before the incursion.
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Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, claimed Russian troops were moving in the city amid heavy street fighting with Ukrainian forces, while he acknowledged that Ukrainian troops were able to push the Russians back in several neighborhoods. Lysychansk, the only other city in Luhansk that the Russians have not yet taken, is still entirely under Ukrainian authority, but is expected to come next, he said. “If the Russians are able to fully capture Sievierodonetsk within two to three days, they will begin deploying guns and missiles and intensify their shelling on Lysychansk,” Haidai added. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy claims that the country is killing between 60 and 100 soldiers per day as a result of the conflict.
A regional governor in southern Ukraine struck a more upbeat tone, claiming that Russian troops are withdrawing and burning up bridges behind them. On the Telegram chat app, Vitaliy Kim, governor of the Mykolayiv district, said, “They are frightened of a counterattack by the Ukrainian army.”