• Zelensky says, “ATACMS have been proven effective in helicopter attacks.”
  • The arrival of ATACMS could significantly hinder Russia’s air attack on tanks and vehicles
  • According to ISW analysts, new missiles also pose a major threat to Moscow’s ammunition depots
  • The Kremlin complains that Biden’s decision to send missiles was a “serious mistake.”
  • AFU crashes third Su-25 jet in a week

US says new missiles will support Ukraine “against Russia’s brutal invasion”.

Washington has secretly delivered a small number of long-range ballistic missiles that Kiev said it urgently needed and that US President Joe Biden promised last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed on Tuesday.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said Tuesday: “The United States recently provided Ukraine with a type of ATACMS with a range of up to 165 km (about 100 miles) as part of our ongoing support to the people in Ukraine in defending its territory.” against Russia’s brutal invasion. “We believe this will significantly increase Ukraine’s capabilities on the battlefield without compromising our military readiness,” she was quoted as saying by CNN.

Zelensky said in his daily address on Tuesday that the Army’s Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) had been used on the battlefield against Russia for the first time.

“My special thanks today go to the United States,” Zelensky said in his daily address. “Our agreements with President Biden are working. And exactly like that. ATACMS have proven themselves.”

Fewer than a dozen of the missiles have arrived in Ukraine in recent days, U.S. officials said. The first attack with the U.S.-made missiles reportedly destroyed several Russian helicopters, an ammunition depot and an air defense launcher on Tuesday.

CNN noted that before the ATACMS, “the maximum range of U.S. weapons stationed in Ukraine with the small-diameter ground-based bomb is about 93 miles.” Ukraine also has the British-provided Storm Shadow long-range missiles, which have a range of about 250 kilometers.”

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ATACMS missiles are fired from HIMARS missile launchers already in use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

A month ago, Kiev Post Bohdan Tuzov argued that the weapons system would be groundbreaking for the AFU. “These missiles could effectively target Russian military facilities in occupied Crimea and the well-known Kerch Bridge. This assumes that the US would not restrict its operations against legitimate targets on Ukrainian territory.”

New ATACMS attacks reshuffle the cards for the Russian air command

Attacks on Russian helicopters by newly acquired long-range missiles from the United States on Tuesday devastated Moscow’s air strategy in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Tuesday. For many months during the invasion, Russia would use rotorcraft from Berdyansk airfield in the western Zaporizhzhia region against Ukraine “to great effect,” the ISW noted. Maybe not so much in the future.

The think tank’s analysts wrote on Tuesday: “PRecent satellite images of Berdyansk airfield showed that Russian forces spread aircraft across the airfield and Ukrainian forces were likely only able to carry out attacks on individual aircraft using previously available long-range missiles.

“The cluster munition-armed version of the ATACMS long-range missiles allowed Ukrainian forces are carrying out attacks on Russian airfields, which may result in major destruction of Russian aircraft and other assets.”

The arrival of long-range missiles provided by the West allowed Ukrainian forces to carry out repeated attacks on the Chernobaivka airfield, causing significant damage, “and the Russian command withdrew military equipment and aviation from the airfield due to their inability to carry out such attacks to fight”. Attacks, wrote the ISW.

In addition, the ISW hypothesized: “The relocation of aircraft to airfields further afield will likely impact the dwell time that Russian aviation will have to support its operations.” This is likely to be particularly important for Russian rotorcraft [helicopters]which, at the beginning of the counteroffensive, operated in relatively small sections of the front for long periods of time in order to weaken the advancing Ukrainian forces.”

The Russian ambassador to the US makes the usual threats after the ATACMS donation

The United States’ delivery of long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine was “a serious mistake,” Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said Wednesday morning AFP.

“The White House’s decision to send long-range missiles to the Ukrainians is a serious mistake. “The consequences of this step, deliberately hidden from public view, will be more serious,” he said in a not entirely unexpected statement.

The only thing missing from the Kremlin’s predictable response is more saber rattling from former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Stand by for his nuclear threat du jour in five… four… Oh, wait. Apparently Medvedev has now been tasked with denouncing Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza:

The AFU air defense shoots down a third Russian jet in a week

Ukrainian troops have destroyed their third Russian Su-25 aircraft in a week in the Donetsk region, a Ukrainian unit said on Telegram on Tuesday.

“The enemy’s total losses amounted to 472 people,” said the Tavria air defense group, which amounted to a total of 36 pieces of military equipment. “In particular, 4 BBMs, 8 artillery systems, 1 anti-aircraft vehicle, Su-25 aircraft, 13 unmanned aerial vehicles, 6 automobile units and 1 special equipment. The enemy’s ammunition depot was also destroyed,” they wrote.

The arrival of rockets also poses a “significant threat” to ammunition depots in rear areas

The greater range of Ukraine’s ballistic arsenal will “likely force the Russian command to choose between fortifying existing depots or further dispersing depots throughout occupied Ukraine,” the ISW said.

Previously, HIMARS missiles delivered to Ukraine in June 2022 enabled Ukrainian forces to attack and disrupt supply missions in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, “a portion of which targeted overly concentrated Russian ammunition depots,” ISW reported, which meant that the Russian command had to react “reluctantly.” They shied away from using highly concentrated ammunition depots and were forced to expand ground communication lines

The new ATACMS delivery “will likely pose a similar challenge to Russian forces,” the analysts wrote.

John Moretti

John Moretti is a freelance journalist and author who divides his time between Europe and the United States. He has also spent more than a decade working with companies protecting travelers from health and safety emergencies abroad. His academic background is in Eastern European studies, international public policy and counterterrorism.

Source : www.kyivpost.com

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