The United States announced on Friday a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine for an amount of 775 million dollars.
The United States announced on Friday a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine for an amount of 775 million dollars, intended to help kyiv to launch a counter-offensive in the south at a time when Russian forces seem weakened.
“These capabilities are carefully calibrated to make as much difference as possible on the battlefield and to strengthen Ukraine’s position at the negotiating table,” said US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken in officially announcing these new shipments. of armament.
This new tranche of aid includes additional missiles for US Himars precision artillery systems, which have “changed the game on the battlefield”, a senior US Department of Defense official told reporters.
Armored vehicles and anti-radar missiles
Washington will also provide the Ukrainian forces with mobile gun systems and 105 mm shells compatible with armaments supplied by the United Kingdom, 15 Scan Eagle reconnaissance drones, which have a range of more than 100 km and allow observations on the battlefield even in bad weather conditions, as well as 1000 new Javelin anti-tank missiles and 1500 Tow missiles, also anti-tank weapons.
The new tranche of military aid, the 19th since August 2021, also includes for the first time MaxxPro anti-mine armored vehicles, intended for the transport of troops in mined terrain. Announced less than two weeks after a $1 billion tranche, it brings the Biden administration’s military aid to Ukraine to $10.7 billion.
It also provides Harm anti-radar air-to-ground missiles that the Ukrainians have managed to adapt to their Russian-made Mig bombers, revealed the senior American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The United States remains vague on the missiles supplied
This is the first time that the United States has revealed that it delivered these supersonic missiles designed to find and destroy enemy air defense systems. A senior American official had simply mentioned recently the gift to Ukraine of “anti-radar capabilities”, without further details.
“We are careful not to talk publicly about capabilities that give Ukraine an asymmetric and unexpected advantage,” the US official explained.
In the case of the Harm, “we saw that they had used them successfully, so we can talk about that but we won’t publish specific numbers.”
Russians ‘more vulnerable than they thought’
While the United States has so far provided only “defensive” weapons, the Pentagon official has hinted that the objective now is to help the Ukrainian forces in the counter-offensive they are preparing to resume. including the strategic city of Kherson, in the south of the country.
“Anti-mine equipment is a good example of what Ukrainians need to advance their troops and reclaim territory,” she noted. Without going so far as to say that these are offensive weapons, she added that they are “capabilities that increase the mobility of Ukrainians when they turn to very difficult terrain, especially in the southern Ukraine”.
She pointed out that Ukrainian forces had succeeded in recent weeks in stopping the advance of Russian forces in the south and east of the country, citing in particular their use of American Himars missiles.
“You can see a complete lack of progress from the Russians on the battlefield,” she said. “The general impression is that the Russians are much more vulnerable than they thought.”
“No recovery of the territory” at this stage
The senior Pentagon official acknowledged that the Ukrainian counter-offensive had so far failed to retake territory, but she assured that the damage inflicted recently on Russian ammunition depots weakened Moscow’s position in the longer term.
“We have not seen any recapture of territory” by the Ukrainian forces, she acknowledged. “But we see a clear weakening of Russian positions in several places.”
“You shouldn’t just think in terms of centimeters of territory ‘won back or not,’ she said. But rather to ask “which capabilities are degraded, which positions are destroyed and where the Himars have been exceptionally effective”.