US says Kiev to decide at what distance it uses HIMARS
The United States ambassador to Ukraine contradicts Biden's statements from earlier that Washington would not provide Kiev with anything it could use to strike Russia.
The Ukrainian armed forces will decide at what distance they will shoot the HIMARS missiles supplied by the United States, US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, said Thursday.
"President Biden yesterday signed a $700 million military aid package that includes HIMARS long-range artillery. This will help Ukrainian forces to deliver more accurate strikes and [shoot] to a greater distance. So the Ukrainian troops will decide what distance to shoot," she said.
Brink's words contradict Biden's attempts at ensuring that Washington would not provide Kiev with weapons capable of targeting Russian territories.
The Ukrainian forces can equip the newly-donated HIMARS systems with Lockheed Martin's Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with a range of some 300 km (and up to 500 km if the PrSM version is used).
Russian defense officials warned Wednesday that verified documents obtained from intercepted radio communications show that Kiev has plans to commit another inhuman provocation in the city of Shomska in the Sumy Region.
Russian National Defense Control Center chief Mikhail Mizintsev explained that Ukrainian militants are planning on firing long-range rockets expected to be shipped by the US shortly at Russian territories to provoke Moscow into a response.
Sweden handed over 5,000 anti-tank grenade launchers to the Ukrainian military. Stockholm also transferred other military equipment to Kiev's forces in light of the Ukraine war.
The HIMARSs are the centerpiece of this $700 million package that was unveiled today, which includes "Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition," Biden said in his op-ed published in The New York Times.
The US has sent more than $5 billion in military supplies to Ukraine since Biden took office in 2021, according to a senior administration official.
The Pentagon has decided to provide HIMARSs to Ukraine due to the nature of the conflict changing to an "artillery duel", Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told a press briefing on Wednesday.
A senior administration official told reporters that the US would send M142 HIMARS, which have a range of approximately 77 km.
Moscow had sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences".