According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russian soldiers control around 20% of Ukrainian territory, with war front lines reaching over 1,000 kilometers.
While Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for all of the assistance received, he stated that allies must increase arms shipments to Ukraine.
As the Russian incursion enters its fourth month, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made his remarks a day after US President Joe Biden announced that the US will provide Ukraine with a $700 million package of “more modern rocket launchers and munitions.” Ukraine has committed not to fire such rockets into Russian territory, according to White House sources.
“This new package will provide them with new capabilities and advanced armament, including HIMARS with battlefield munitions, to protect their territory against Russian advances,” Biden said in a statement released on Wednesday.
“We will continue to set an example for the rest of the world by offering historic support for Ukraine’s battle for independence.” The acronym for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System was coined by Biden.
Officials from the Obama administration said the fresh weapons package is “tailored to the needs” of the present battle in Ukraine’s east.
The US is deploying four of the new rocket launchers, according to Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, and training Ukrainian personnel to use them will take roughly three weeks. He wouldn’t reveal where the training would take place, but he did state that the systems will be on the European continent.
“What the HIMARS will let them to do is have a greater standoff” range against targets that are more than 70 kilometers distant, he explained. “Right now, the howitzers we handed them have around a 30-kilometer range; the HIMARS have more than double that, allowing them to maintain larger standoff even with fewer systems.” Another thing that sets it apart is the amazing level of precision.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking alongside Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on Wednesday, said it’s unclear how or when the conflict will end, but that NATO wants Ukraine to be in a strong position when peace talks take place. According to Blinken, Russia has the ability to delay or stop the conflict.
In an opinion article published late Tuesday in The New York Times, Biden stated that he does not want to go to war with Russia.
“As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin and find his conduct reprehensible, the United States will not attempt to destabilize Moscow,” Biden stated. “We will not be directly involved in this battle, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by assaulting Russian forces, as long as we or our friends are not attacked.” We do neither encourage or assist Ukraine in attacking beyond its borders.”
The transfer of rocket launchers to Ukraine, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, increased the possibility of the conflict spreading, and Ukraine’s push for weaponry from its Western friends is a “clear provocation meant to lure the West into the combat.”
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, told reporters on Wednesday that US arms supplies do not favor the resumption of peace talks.
The decision to supply more modern weapons comes after the Biden administration’s initial reluctance. The current arms delivery includes the rocket system, counter-fire radars, air surveillance radars, extra Javelin anti-tank missiles, and other anti-armor weapons, according to White House officials. This is the 11th such batch of weapons the US has provided to Ukraine.
More helicopters, over 200,000 artillery rounds, and a cargo of spare parts are also being sent by the US to assist the Ukrainians in repairing their existing equipment.
Russian forces pressed their assault on Sievierodonetsk, a crucial target in their campaign to retake the Donbas area in eastern Ukraine. As violent street fights raged, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai estimated Russia controlled nearly 70% of the city.
Russia has taken control of the majority of the city, according to the British Defense Ministry. Ukraine controls the major road towards Sievierodonetsk, according to the ministry, with Russia achieving “solid local gains, enabled by a significant concentration of artillery.”