Volodymyr Zelensky : Aid (MLRS) from the United States

Volodymyr Zelensky : Aid (MLRS) from the United States

 Russia does not believe the statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the assistance of the multi-barreled rocket launcher system (MLRS) from the United States (US). Previously, Zelenskyy emphasized that his party would not attack Russia with the help of the MLRS. The MLRS rocket launcher is said to have a long range that can reach Russia. Speaking in Moscow on Wednesday (1/6/2022), the spokesman for the Russian Presidential Palace (Kremlin) Dmitry Peskov stated that his party did not believe every word of the Ukrainian government. 

“In order to believe, you have to experience events where (Ukraine) keeps its promises. Unfortunately, there is no such experience," Peskov was quoted as saying by TASS. Furthermore, Peskov accused Zelensky of never keeping his campaign promises to end the separatist war in eastern Ukraine. He also claimed Ukraine was reluctant to comply with the 2015 Minsk Agreement. "Therefore, we do not have a special sense of trust in the Ukrainian side," Peskov continued. The US itself is said to be assisting Ukraine with long-range weapons, including the MLRS and the high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS). Washington said the range of the seconded weapons would not exceed 80 kilometers. 

However, there is speculation that Ukraine will use US-assisted weapons to attack Russian Federation territory. Zelensky immediately denied the speculation on Tuesday (31/5/2022). He stressed that Kiev would not launch an attack on Russian territory. In addition to Zelensky, US President Joe Biden has made it clear he will not send weapons that have a long enough range to reach Russia. Peskov also said that the Russian military was preparing anticipatory steps if the US sent the MLRS to Ukraine. He called Washington's constant arms aid like "pouring oil into the fire." However, Peskov was reluctant to answer what steps Russia would take if Ukraine used US rockets to attack its territory. "I'm not going to discuss the worst-case scenario with you," Peskov told journalists in Moscow. 

The advanced M142 HIMARS rocket that US President Joe Biden sent to Ukraine has superior range and precision. This weapon was requested by Ukrainian leaders as they fought to stop the Russian invasion of the Donbas region. The rocket system is part of a $700 million security aid to Ukraine from the United States that will include helicopters, Javelin anti-tank weapons systems, tactical vehicles, spare parts and more, two senior government officials said Tuesday. 31/5/2022). The US decision to provide advanced rocket systems tries to strike a balance between wanting to help Ukraine fight fierce Russian artillery attacks.

"Providing Ukraine with more advanced rocket and munition systems that will allow them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine," Biden said on Tuesday, according to Al Jazeera. The new weapon that Joe Biden is sending is the Himars multiple launch rocket system or MLRS, which is a mobile unit that can simultaneously launch multiple precision-guided missiles. Both Ukraine and Russia already operate the MLRS, but Himars has superior range and precision. The M142 HIMARS System or High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is a modernized, lighter and more agile wheel-mounted version of the track-mounted M270 MLRS developed in the 1970s for US and allied forces.

 "The Himars that Washington is giving to Ukraine will have a range of about 50 miles (80km)," a US official told reporters, as reported by The Guardian, Wednesday (1/6/2022). Himars units carry one pod containing six 227mm guided missiles (the M270 carries two), or one large pod loaded with Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) tactical missiles. The US will not supply Ukraine with the ATACMS, which has a range of 300 km. With a small crew, Himars can get used pods out and load new ones in minutes, without the aid of another vehicle. The US military already has Himars units in Europe, and NATO allies Poland and Romania have acquired the system. 

Himars will give Ukrainian forces the ability to strike further behind Russian lines, and at a distance that is better protected from Russia's own long-range weaponry. The GPS-guided missile fired by Himars has a range about twice that of the M777 howitzer the US recently supplied to Ukrainian forces. At a range of roughly 80 km, it usually puts Himars out of range of Russia's own artillery, while putting Russian batteries in jeopardy. It could also threaten Russian supply depots, amid Western beliefs that Russian troops are experiencing logistical problems. Some analysts say Himars could be a "game changer" in the war, at a time when Ukrainian forces appear to be struggling under Russian artillery fire. But others say Himars will not suddenly turn things around.

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