U.S. leans toward sending powerful multiple launch rockets as Ukraine seeks “heavy weapons” to stop Russia’s Donbas offensive

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Close to Kherson, Ukraine — Ukraine‘s International Minister Dmytro Kuleba issued an pressing plea Thursday night for Western leaders to ship his nation extra “heavy weapons” to assist Ukrainian forces counter a robust Russian offensive within the jap Donbas area.

“The one place the place Russia is best than us, it is the quantity of heavy weapons they’ve,” Kuleba mentioned in his video enchantment. “With out artillery, with out a number of launch rocket programs, we cannot be capable to push them again.”

Kuleba mentioned the state of affairs in Donbas was “even worse than individuals say,” beseeching Western allies with a repeated plea: “Should you actually look after Ukraine, weapons, weapons and weapons once more.”

The appeals from Kyiv have apparently been heard in Washington, the place a Biden administration official informed CBS Information senior nationwide safety correspondent David Martin that the White Home was leaning towards offering a number of launch rocket programs (MLRS) to Ukraine as a part of the subsequent bundle of army support for the nation.

lockheed-martin-himars.jpg
A promotional picture exhibits one in every of Lockheed Martin’s “Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Methods” (HIMARS) in use.

Lockheed Martin


No ultimate determination has been made in Washington, officers informed CBS Information, but when the Biden administration does decide to offering MLRS to Ukraine, they mentioned it could doubtless be weapons often called HIMARS, made by Lockheed Martin, which would offer barely longer vary and considerably extra punch than the 155 mm howitzers the U.S. is at present offering. The highly-portable HIMARS can hearth six shells at a time, not like the single-fire howitzers, and the rockets themselves are significantly bigger than the howitzer rounds, at 277 mm.     

Ukrainian troops are already relying closely on the howitzers supplied by the U.S. as they attempt to cease Russia’s advance on villages round two main cities in Donbas, Ukraine’s long-time industrial heartland which is now largely beneath Russian management.

A few of the newest video to emerge from the war-torn nation exhibits Russia bombarding Ukrainian positions with next-generation warheads often called vacuum bombs. Russia’s overwhelming artillery benefit has allowed its forces to seize extra territory in Donbas this week.

CBS Information correspondent Imtiaz Tyab says the city of Popasna is a transparent instance of what a Russian “victory” in Ukraine appears like. The city is simply over 10 miles south of the dual cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, which Russia is attempting arduous to seize. Popasna was just lately taken by pro-Russian troops, and it is now in ruins, with the stays of the useless nonetheless mendacity within the streets.

Tyab says Moscow is throwing nearly all of its firepower into efforts to consolidate management of your complete Donbas, with 1000’s of Russian troops attacking from three sides.

Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine - vector map
A map exhibits the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of jap Ukraine’s Donbas area.

Getty/iStockphoto


If Severodonetsk and Lysychansk fall, practically all the province of Luhansk, which makes up about half of the Donbas, can be beneath Russian management.

However Ukrainian forces Tyab and his workforce have met this week say they will not go down and not using a battle, and the American howitzers are an enormous a part of how they hope to show the tide again towards Russia. The American-made artillery items shoot additional, transfer quicker and may be hidden far simpler than different weapons already on the Ukrainians’ disposal.

The Ukrainians at present have about 85 of the 108 howitzers that have been promised by the Biden administration.


U.S. trains Ukrainians on howitzer artillery

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“The extra howitzers now we have, the simpler it is going to be to battle Russians,” Lieutenant Colonel Serhii Zayika, the lead coach for the Ukrainian forces utilizing the weapons close to the southern metropolis of Kherson, informed CBS Information.

It was the howitzer that helped Ukrainian troops push again Russian forces shelling a small village close to Kherson, forcing Tyab and his team to duck for cover with the troopers close to the entrance traces earlier this week.


On the frontlines of war in Ukraine

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It is a nimble however mighty weapon towards Russia’s advancing military, but it surely’s clear that Ukraine needs extra of them, and much more deadly firepower as its forces face the mounting Russian offensive.

It appeared on Friday that Kyiv’s want may very well be granted, but it surely wasn’t clear when any a number of rocket launch programs from the U.S. would possibly really arrive, or if they’d come quickly sufficient to assist Ukraine’s defenders cease Russia from seizing the 2 massive cities in Donbas.      



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