Pentagon comments on new HIMARS deliveries to Ukraine — Analysis
The US undersecretary for defense stated that the priority now is to provide ammunition to Kiev so it can fight against Russia.
According to the most recent statement by Colin Kahl (Undersecretary of Defense), the US seems reluctant to provide additional HIMARS rocket launchers to Ukraine. He stated that the US is now focusing on ammunition for existing systems.
“We sent 16 HIMARS systems, which is actually quite a lot,”Kahl answered Monday’s question at a briefing, “Does the Pentagon have the maximum amount of military hardware that it can ship to Kiev?”
He noted that the UK has also provided Ukraine with three HIMARS units, and that Germany has promised to send three more, for use in Kiev’s conflict with Moscow.
“So our assessment actually is that the Ukrainians are doing pretty well in terms of the numbers of [HIMARS] systems… And the same is true on the M777 howitzers front where really we’ve provided a very large number of systems,”According to the undersecretary.
“Right now the priority is to make sure that the Ukrainians have the ammunition to keep them in the fight,”Kahl also added.
The US recently announced that the US had approved a $1 billion package of military assistance for Ukraine. It included ammunition for HIMARS rocket launchers.
There has been conflicting reporting on the current number of HIMARS missile launchers being used by Ukraine. Moscow says it has destroyed six, but Washington and Kiev claim they have left all the systems.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. These protocols were originally signed by France and Germany through intermediaries. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
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February 20, 2022 was the date when the Kremlin acknowledged the Donbass republics to be independent states. In this regard, it demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral so that they could never become part of any Western military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked.
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