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    HomeMilitaryUkraine's Strategic Strike: US ATACMS Missiles Change Battlefield Dynamics Against Russia

    Ukraine’s Strategic Strike: US ATACMS Missiles Change Battlefield Dynamics Against Russia

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    In a significant escalation of firepower, Ukraine has begun employing long-range US Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) against Russian forces, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing conflict.

    The ATACMS, which have nearly twice the striking distance of the mid-range weapons previously provided, have already been utilized in attacks on key Russian military positions, signaling a new phase in the battlefield dynamics.

    American officials confirmed that the longer-range ATACMS was used to target a Russian military airfield in Crimea and Russian forces in an occupied area, emphasizing the strategic advantage they provide to Ukrainian forces.

    With a range of up to 300 kilometers (190 miles), these missiles enhance Ukraine’s capacity to strike deeper into occupied territories without risking direct engagement.

    White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan conveyed the strategic significance of these weapons: “We’ve already sent some, we will send more now that we have additional authority and money.”

    President Joe Biden approved new military aid packages that included additional ATACMS.

    The exact number of missiles supplied remains undisclosed, reflecting the sensitivity and covert nature of the deliveries.

    For months, deliberations in Washington had centered on the risk that providing Ukraine with such long-range capabilities could provoke Moscow and potentially escalate the conflict.

    Adm. Christopher Grady emphasized the careful consideration given to this escalation: “I think the time is right, and the boss (Biden) made the decision the time is right to provide these based on where the fight is right now,” highlighting the administration’s decision as “very well considered.”

    The Biden administration has made clear that the weapons must not be used to target inside Russia, maintaining the stance that their use is confined to within Ukrainian sovereign territory.

    Amidst these developments, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has not publicly acknowledged the receipt or use of ATACMS.

    However, he recognized the importance of “Ukraine’s long-range capabilities, artillery and air defense” in restoring peace.

    Russian officials claim that Ukraine’s use of the ATACMS aimed to penetrate air defenses in Crimea, with several missiles reportedly being intercepted.

    Despite these claims, the first confirmed use of the ATACMS in the early hours of April 17th against the Russian airfield in Crimea indicates a shift in Ukrainian strategy, leveraging these advanced systems to challenge Russian military assets more aggressively.

    The recent deployment of ATACMS aligns with reports of the Ukrainian military successfully using these missiles to strike critical targets, including a training ground in Luhansk Oblast and a Russian Iskander ballistic missile launch site. This indicates Ukraine’s increasing reliance on precision, long-range strike capabilities to disrupt Russian operations and logistics.

    Relevant articles:
    Ukraine war: Kyiv uses longer-range US missiles for the first time, Yahoo News Canada, 05/12/2024
    Russian officials say Ukraine attacked Crimea with U.S.-made ATACMS missiles, Yahoo News Canada, 05/10/2024
    Ukraine Military Situation: Russian Force May Soon Push To Seize Important Cities – Analysis – Eurasia Review, Eurasia Review, 05/10/2024

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