Biden rules out giving Ukraine rockets ‘that can hit Russia’

Topline

The United States will not send Ukrainian military rocket systems that can hit targets inside Russia, President Joe Biden said Monday, as Ukraine asks U.S. officials for long-range rockets to help him in his fight against the Russian forces in the east of the country.

Highlights

Asked outside the White House if the United States plans to ship long-range rocket systems to Ukraine, Biden told reporters, “We’re not going to ship systems to Ukraine. rockets that can hit Russia.”

Biden’s comments came after CNN and the Washington Post announced last week that the United States planned to equip Ukraine with rocket systems capable of hitting targets up to hundreds of kilometers away, including the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and the multiple rocket launcher (MRLS) – which Ukraine has publicly lobbied for.

The Biden administration can provide Ukraine with MLRS units but only equip them with slightly shorter-range rockets, the Job reported, a move that could mitigate the risk of provoking Russia by giving Ukraine weapons capable of striking into Russian territory.

Last week, a Russian public television host called MLRS sends Ukraine a ‘red line’ which could lead to a ‘very tough response’ from Russia.

To monitor

According to CNN and the Job.

Key Context

Ukraine is fighting against Russian forces seeking to fully occupy the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, known collectively as Donbass. In recent days, Russia has focused on Severodonetsk, one of the last major cities under Ukrainian control in Luhansk. Amid this pressure, Ukrainian officials have called for heavier, longer-range weapons so they can stop Russian advances from a greater distance, with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted last week these weapons would help “repel Russian attacks”. In particular, the HIMARS system produced by Lockheed Martin could help Ukrainian forces eliminate some of the Russian artillery units that have been concentrated in eastern Ukraine and have allowed Russia to keep moving on.

Tangent

The United States has sent billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine since the war began in late February. Over time, the United States increased the types of equipment offered to Ukraine, including dozens of howitzers supplied by the United States. However, the Biden administration has refused to offer certain types of support, in an effort to avoid dragging the United States into a confrontation with Russia. The U.S. rebuffed Ukraine’s request for MiG-29 fighter jets, and while Ukraine reportedly carried out sporadic attacks inside Russian territory, U.S. officials reportedly refused to provide Ukraine with intelligence on targets in Russia.

Further reading

US to approve advanced long-range rocket system for Ukraine as Russian TV host warns of crossing ‘red line’ (CNN)

Those American rockets that Ukraine wants? They are perfect for shooting Russian artillery. (Forbes)

Comments are closed.