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Pentagon unveils targets for ATACMS missiles secretly shipped to Ukraine – NYT 

Kiev could use the systems to “put more pressure” on Crimea, according to the newspaper

The US-supplied Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, will allow Ukrainian forces to target Russia’s Crimean Peninsula “more effectively,” the New York Times has reported, citing senior Pentagon officials.

Washington secretly sent Kiev an unspecified number of longer-range ATACMS missiles last month, US officials confirmed earlier this week, after several outlets claimed that Kiev has already begun using the new weapon against Russian targets far behind the frontlines.

The “goal” of supplying Ukraine with longer-range weaponry was to put more pressure on Crimea, “where, right now, Russia has had relatively safe haven,” the NYT wrote on Thursday, citing an unnamed US defense official.

The US had delivered ATACMS missiles, allegedly with a range up to 300 kilometers, to Ukraine as part of the $300-million arms package approved by President Joe Bidenin mid-March. On Wednesday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed the delivery, but US officials refused to comment on the exact modification and range of the weapon.

Read more

UK Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Tony Radakin in London on March 13, 2023.
Ukraine to step up long-range strikes on Russia – UK military chief

On the morning of April 17, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said his forces had attacked an airbase in Dzhankoy, Crimea, after media reports alleged that Kiev used the missiles for the first time in the attack on the airfield about 165 kilometers (103 miles) from the front line. The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on that claim.

Ukraine first received mid-range ATACMS last September. The Russian military quickly began shooting them down, however, thwarting Zelensky’s plan to damage or destroy the Crimean Bridge. Earlier this month, Zelensky reiterated that he and his government “really want to destroy Russian infrastructure,” including the Crimean Bridge.

“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,” vice-chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, Adm Christopher Grady, told AP on Wednesday. “I think it was a very well considered decision, and we really wrung it out…”


READ MORE: Biden team doubts US aid will help Ukraine win – Politico

The delivery of long-range missiles to Kiev is “impossible to justify,” Russia’s Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday. The move by Washington “increases the threat to the security of Crimea, including Sevastopol, the new Russian regions and other Russian cities,” he added.

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A patrol boat is seen near the Crimean Bridge, repaired after the July 17 sea drone strike by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Republic of Crimea, Russia.
We really want to destroy Europe’s longest bridge – Zelensky

Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation in 2014, six decades after the historically Russian peninsula was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in an administrative decision by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. In September 2022, four former Ukrainian regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – were also admitted to the Russian Federation after similar referendums. 

Kiev declared the referendums “sham” and has been pushing for its own “peace formula” under which Russia would withdraw its troops not only from the four regions but from Crimea as well before any talks could even commence.

April 26, 2024 at 06:11AM
RT

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