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USA. The Department of State confirms that long-range ATACMS missiles have been delivered to Ukraine

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The US Department of State confirmed that the United States delivered long-range ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers to Ukraine in March. According to two American officials cited by the AP agency, the missiles were used, among others, in the attack on a military airport in Crimea, which took place in mid-April.

The ATACMS missiles were deployed on March 12 and arrived in Ukraine the same month. As US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel confirmed, this shipment “was directly ordered by US President” Joe Biden.

As National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said during Wednesday's briefing, Biden made the decision in February, just after North Korea sent Russia ballistic missiles. As he noted, the missiles are to be used only on the territory of Ukraine, which also includes Crimea. Sullivan explained that the US had not taken this step earlier due to the limited number of missiles in the US arsenal. But he added that “behind the scenes, the administration has been working diligently to address these issues.” As a result, America is now able to send “significant numbers” of these missiles without fear of its own war readiness. However, the president's adviser warned that these missiles are not a panacea for the situation on the front.

The Associated Press reported earlier on Wednesday that ATACMS missiles were secretly delivered to Ukraine in March. Rockets were part of it aid package announced in March worth $300 million.

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According to two U.S. officials contacted by the AP, ATACMS missiles were used in last week's attacks on a military airport in Crimea and a Russian military complex in Berdyansk.

Explosion near a military airport in occupied Crimea

ATACMSJohn Hamilton/White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs/dvidshub.net

The Americans had not previously decided to provide ATACMS missiles to Ukraine for fear that they would be used to strike deep into Russian territory. Such an attack could escalate the conflict. In return, in October, the US provided Kiev with medium-range missiles that could hit targets approximately 160 km away.

AP: Biden warned Russia about ballistic missile use

One U.S. official told the AP that Biden warned Russia last year that if Moscow used ballistic missiles in Ukraine, Washington would supply such missiles to the Ukrainians. Russia obtained this type of weapon from North Korea and used it in Ukraine. According to officials, this convinced the Biden administration to provide ATACMS missiles.

An additional reason to send long-range ATACMS missiles was the fact that the United States was phasing out this type of weapons and replacing them with Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM), American officials told the AP agency.

The Ukrainian authorities did not confirm in March that long-range ATACMS missiles had been delivered to them, but in gratitude for the adoption of the support package by Congress on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on the X platform that “long-range artillery and air defense means are extremely important tools for restoring a just peace.”

Over $60 billion in support for Ukraine. There is Biden's signature

At the same time, on Wednesday, President Biden announced that signed a bill under which the United States will allocate almost $61 billion to an aid package for Ukraine.

The law provides financial aid for Ukraine, but also for Israel and Taiwan.

The part relating to Ukraine amounts to USD 60.8 billion, of which USD 23 billion are funds to replenish the losses in the American arsenal transferred as a result of donating equipment to Ukraine, USD 13.8 billion to purchase equipment for Ukraine, and USD 11.3 billion to maintain US forces in region. In addition, the bill gives the president the authority to transfer weapons worth almost $8 billion. 2 billion will be allocated for loans to Ukraine and countries in the region for the purchase of American military equipment. In addition, the bill includes almost $9.5 billion in financial and economic support for the Ukrainian budget in the form of a forgivable loan.

Main photo source: John Hamilton/White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs/dvidshub.net



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