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Biden to send missile system to Ukraine in U-turn – and issues nuclear warning to Russia

Joe Biden announced that the US will send medium range rocket systems to Ukraine in support of its forces fighting to halt Russian progress. This is an apparent change of heart.

On Monday, the US president stated that Washington would not send to Ukraine missile systems that could strike into Russia.

However, Vladimir Putin‘s forces moving in the Donbas area, the decision was made to deliver the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System(HIMARS) on condition that Ukraine doesn’t use it to launch attacks over the border.

Ukraine news: Russian nuclear forces hold drills


Officials claim that the systems are part a $700m (PS556m), new package of security assistance for Kyiv, USA, which will include helicopters and Javelin anti-tank weapon system, tactical vehicles, spare parts, and other equipment.

The White House hopes that the decision to provide advanced rocket systems will strike a balance between helping Ukraine resist Russian artillery barrages and not providing arms that could cause an escalation of the war.

In a guest essay published by The New York Times Mr Biden stated that he has decided to provide the Ukrainians with “more advanced rocket systems and ammunition that will allow them to strike key targets in the battlefield of Ukraine”.

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If it is sufficiently close to the border, any weapon system can fire into Russia.

The US will unveil an aid package on Wednesday that would include medium-range rockets. These rockets can travel approximately 45 miles.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, senior administration officials said that the Ukrainians had promised US officials they wouldn’t fire rockets onto Russian territory.

However, they claimed that the systems would give Ukrainian forces more precision when targeting Russian assets within Ukraine.

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City subject to constant shelling

Continue reading: As is savagely shelled, civilians fight to live in Lysychansk.

It is possible that Ukraine will use the rockets from the eastern Donbas to intercept Russian artillery or take out Russian positions in areas where fighting is fierce, like Severodonetsk.

Severodonetsk is crucial to Russian efforts in the Donbas to be captured before more Western arms arrive to support Ukraine’s defense.

The last area of land in the Luhansk Region of the Donbas under Ukrainian government control is located 90 miles south-east of the Russian border.

In his New York Times essay, Mr Biden stated that “We aren’t encouraging or enabling Ukraine strike beyond its borders.” We don’t want to prolong war to inflict suffering on Russia.

Image: A heavily damaged residential building in Bakhmut, north Severodonetsk from a Russian bombing. Pic: AP

“Any use of nuclear arms in this conflict…would entail severe consequences”

He used the essay to calm fears about nuclear attack and to warn the Putin regime.

He said, “I know that many people around the globe are concerned about nuclear weapons.”

“We do not currently see any indications that Russia intends to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. However, Russia’s occasional rhetorical attempts to shake the nuclear saber can be dangerous and irresponsible.

“Let’s be clear: Any use or threat of nuclear weapons in this conflict would be unacceptable to us and the rest of the globe. This would have severe consequences.”

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The Pentagon would drawdown the rocket systems, which would include taking weapons from US inventories and delivering them to Ukraine as quickly as possible.

Training on the new systems would be required by Ukrainian troops, and could take up to a week.

The HIMARS can be mounted on a truck and carry six rockets in a container.

It can launch a medium range rocket but it can also fire a longer-range missile called the Army Tactical Missile System. This system has a range around 190 miles, but it is not part the plan.

The US and its allies have attempted to keep the conflict in check since February. They sent weapons to Ukraine to defeat Russia, but they did not provide any aid to Mr Putin to inflame him and start a wider conflict that could spread to other parts of Europe.


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