US to supply long-range weapons in latest aid package for Ukraine conflict

According to the US, Ukraine would receive further military assistance costing $2.2 billion (£1.83 billion), including long-range missiles that can double its striking range.

Since February 2022, Ukraine has received more than $29.3 billion (£24.31 billion) in military aid.

Ground-launched small-diameter bombs (GLSDB), which may reach targets 150 km (93 miles) away, are part of the package.

Officials, however, declined to comment on rumors that the weapons may be used to assault regions of Crimea that had been annexed.

According to Pentagon spokesperson Brig Gen Pat Ryder, “Ukrainian plans for operations clearly are their decision.”

“This provides them with a longer-range capability, long-range firing capabilities, that will enable them to conduct operations in defense of their country and retake their sovereign territory, Russian-occupied territories,”

The Crimean Peninsula was illegitimately acquired by Russia in 2014, and it is now a part of its territory. But in recent months, it has occasionally come under fire from Ukrainian soldiers.

Western countries have repeatedly rejected giving Ukraine offensive weapons, such fighter jets, that it may use to launch an attack against Russia.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, thanked President Joe Biden and the United States for the further assistance in a tweet.

The more mobile our troops and long-range weaponry are, the sooner Russia’s terrible aggression will come to a stop, Mr. Zelensky stated. “We stand against terror with [the US] together.”

Volodymyr Zelensky, president

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For a long time, President Zelensky has pleaded with the West to give his army weaponry that can fire farther.
Previously, the Himars rocket system, which can reach targets at a distance of up to 80 kilometers, was Ukraine’s most powerful weapon (50 miles). Earlier this year, during its counteroffensive in the south and east, Kiev deployed the strategy to deadly effect.

Additionally, the GLSDB enables Ukraine’s military the ability to launch attacks anywhere in the Russian-occupied Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Donbas regions. It also enables Ukraine to put supply routes for Russia in the east under jeopardy.

GLSDB, a gliding rocket with a tiny bomb attached and capable of striking a target within one meter of its position, is made by Boeing and Saab.

The Himars and M270 MLRS systems now in operation in Ukraine are only two examples of the many weapons systems from which it can be launched. The Pentagon and Boeing declined to comment on the system’s delivery schedules, and other sources indicated that it may take up to nine months for the system to reach Ukraine.

The new deal, which also includes 250 Javelin anti-armour systems and more Himars missiles, comes amid growing criticism that Western countries have been moving too slowly to give Ukraine significant military equipment.

According to US House of Representatives Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers, GLSDB should have been approved last fall. “Every day it takes to get cleared is a day it takes away from a Ukrainian who is ready to kill a Russian.”

A Russian offensive in the eastern Donbas region has reportedly gained steam in recent days, according to sources. Kremlin-friendly blogs have claimed that the town of Bakhmut, which has long served as a focal point of Russian attacks, has been encircled from three sides.

However, according to President Zelensky, his men were positioned all around the town and would not submit to Russian attacks.

The Ukrainian leader declared, “We regard Backhmut as our castle.” We will start to de-occupy Donbas, which has been occupied since 2014, if weapon [deliveries] are accelerated, specifically long-range weapons.

A long-rumored Russian spring onslaught in the area has already started, according to Mr. Zelensky, and his defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, stated earlier this week that Moscow has mobilized about 500,000 troops for the next assault.

The leader of Ukraine has been meeting in Kyiv with the presidents of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Council, Charles Michel, to discuss resuming EU admission negotiations.

The leaders “understood that it is conceivable to start negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union this year,” according to Mr. Zelensky, who spoke after the conference.

However, Ms. von der Leyen emphasized that Ukraine has political objectives it must achieve before joining the bloc and said that “no fixed timeframes” were in place.

The EU has emphasized numerous times that Ukraine must intensify its battle against pervasive corruption, reform its judicial system by eliminating political involvement, and boost its economy.

Germany has made arrangements to transfer Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, according to other sources. Berlin has already committed to providing the older Leopard 2s type, which can be delivered to Kyiv earlier than the more recent variant.

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