Ukraine demands more rocket systems; Lavrov warns against strikes in Russia

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Ukraine has said it needs 60 multiple-launch rocket systems to have a chance of defeating Russia, indicating that the number of such weapons promised by the West so far may not be sufficient.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told the Guardian that 60 launchers would stop Russian forces “in their tracks”. Forty would slow them down with heavy casualties, he said, while 20 would increase Russian casualties but leave little change to the battlefield outcome.

The United States and Britain recently announced plans to supply Kyiv with Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which can hit targets up to 50 miles away. Washington is sending four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, commonly known as HIMARS, though Ukrainian troops need at least three weeks of training to use them, the Pentagon said. Britain confirmed on Monday that it would send an unspecified number of M270 launch systems to Ukraine.

The Kremlin has warned against equipping Kyiv with long-range weapons. Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened a broader bombing campaign in response, although he dismissed their effectiveness. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has alleged that Ukraine will use the systems to strike targets inside Russia, although the Biden administration has said Kyiv has agreed to use the weapons only on his territory. (London did not say whether it had received similar assurance from Kyiv, but its shipment was made in consultation with Washington.)

Ukraine’s leaders “just laugh at the Americans who said, ‘We believe Zelensky, he promised us not to shoot Russia,'” Lavrov told reporters on Monday.

Kyiv said MLRS expeditions were a top priority as it lost ground in eastern Ukraine. Earlier in the war, Ukraine successfully repelled Russian forces attempting to seize the capital and other major cities. But Moscow has scored some recent victories on the eastern plains with the support of its long-range artillery systems, with the bludgeoned Severodonetsk becoming the last city in danger of falling under Russian control.

Ukraine has made good use of equipment provided by the West. Kyiv has scored several high profile battlefield victories against Russian tanks and ships through its use of equipment such as Javelin missiles and British Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAW).

Ukraine’s navy said this week that it had pushed ships from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet about 60 miles off Ukraine’s coast. The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said anti-ship missiles supplied by the West could have helped Ukraine regain control of parts of the northwest sea. Black.

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“The war in the east right now is shaped by the role of artillery,” said Mick Ryan, a retired Major General in the Australian Army, adding that 60 MLRS weapons would allow Kyiv to replace the potential combat losses while conducting training.

The estimated 50-mile range of UK- and US-supplied MLRS weapons exceeds that of the howitzers Russia uses and would give Ukraine a “much wider area of ​​coverage for short-notice fire missions “, did he declare.

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