US President Joe Biden today ruled out the delivery to Ukraine of long-range military rocket launch systems (‘rockets’) capable of hitting Russia, despite Kyiv’s repeated requests for such weapons.
“We will not send ‘rockets’ systems to Ukraine that could reach the Russian countryside,” Joe Biden told reporters this morning.
The US press had claimed in recent days that Washington was preparing to deliver military long-range multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Kyiv after Congress approved an additional US$40 billion in aid (37 billion) to Ukraine.
However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did not confirm the dispatch of the MLRS M270 – highly mobile modern vehicles with a firing range of 300 kilometers.
The second type of system had been mentioned: the Himars, with a range of 70 to 150 kilometers – far superior to the M777 howitzer batteries, which are currently delivered to Kyiv and whose effective range does not exceed 40 kilometers.
Currently, Ukrainian forces are fighting in the Donbass region, where the Russian offensive has intensified around key cities. Russian forces advanced towards the center of Severodonetsk, which had been bombed for weeks.
In this context, the Ukrainian authorities asked the West for more weapons.
“Some partners avoid giving the necessary weapons for fear of escalation. Climbing, really? Russia already uses the heaviest non-nuclear weapons, burns people alive. Maybe it’s time (…) to give us MLRS?” Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, wrote on Twitter.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that has killed more than 4,000 civilians, according to the UN, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.
The military offensive has caused more than eight million people to flee, of which more than 6.6 million have left the country, according to the latest UN figures.
The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and reinforcing economic and political sanctions on Moscow.
Source: With Agencies