Russia warns of expanding military buffer zone if Ukraine acquires U.S. long-range missiles
05/01/2024 // Richard Brown // Views

Following Ukraine's anticipated acquisition of Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) tactical ballistic missiles from the United States, the Kremlin announced on April 24 that it is contemplating pushing Ukrainian forces back even further to expand its buffer zone and protect itself against the advanced, longer-range missiles.

This response comes as the White House prepares a new military aid package, after Congress approved a long-awaited aid bill, which is expected to include the ATACMS missiles that are capable of reaching targets at distances of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles).

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the imminent arrival of the long-range missiles and expressed gratitude to Washington for its support. This development could potentially empower Ukrainian forces to target areas deeper within territories held by Russian forces, including the Russian-annexed region of Crimea. (Related: Ukraine now buying CHINESE DRONES because the American-made versions are unreliable.)

ATACMS are truck-mounted tactical ballistic missiles capable of reaching speeds of Mach 3, which surpass the capabilities of British and French cruise missiles currently in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In response to inquiries regarding the implications of these advanced missile systems, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated Russia's stance on the necessity of a buffer zone to safeguard its annexed territories from Ukrainian strikes.

Last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserted that any provision of longer-range Western weapons to Kyiv would prompt Russian forces to push Ukrainian troops further back from Russian borders.

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Additionally, U.S. officials suggested that while delivery specifics might remain undisclosed, conditions would likely prevent Ukraine from utilizing these missiles to target locations within Russia itself.

The latest U.S. military aid package, valued at $1 billion, represents the initial allocation from the newly sanctioned bill, underscoring the ongoing international involvement and intricate dynamics of the Ukraine conflict.

U.S. quietly delivering long-range missiles to Ukraine

Earlier this month, the Biden administration quietly delivered long-range missiles to Ukraine, marking a significant shift in U.S. policy towards supporting Ukraine's defense capabilities.

The decision to provide these missiles came after months of deliberation and was initially withheld due to concerns about readiness and the potential for escalating tensions with Russia.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Garron Garn revealed in a press conference that President Joe Biden approved the transfer of ATACMS missiles back in February.

These missiles were then discreetly included in a $300 million aid package announced on March 12 and subsequently sent to Ukraine.

The decision to keep the transfer undisclosed was made to maintain operational security, aligning with Ukraine's request for discretion.

The Biden administration had initially resisted providing long-range missiles to Ukraine, citing concerns about readiness and the potential for further provocation of Russia.

However, after addressing these concerns by purchasing more ATACMS missiles and bolstering military stocks, the administration proceeded with the transfer.

Biden's directive followed Russia's procurement and use of North Korean ballistic missiles against Ukraine and attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, prompting the U.S. to fulfill a warning to Russia that it would provide Ukraine with longer-range missiles if Moscow used similar military tech on Ukraine.

The delivery of long-range missiles to Ukraine signifies a strategic decision by the Biden administration to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities amid ongoing tensions with Russia.

These missiles are expected to provide Ukraine with enhanced firepower and the ability to target deeper behind Russian lines, thus strengthening its position in the conflict.

Watch this episode of "The New Atlas" discussing why the latest arms package for Ukraine will not help it win the conflict.

This video is from the channel The Prisoner on

More related stories:

Ukraine now buying CHINESE DRONES because the American-made versions are unreliable.

Ukraine uses French-made bomb equipped with laser guiding technology against Russia.

Ukraine running out of air defense missiles, giving Russia a FREE PASS to Kyiv.

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