Ukraine is negotiating missiles with a range of up to 300 km, a presidential adviser announced
Ukraine is holding accelerated talks with its allies over a request to arm them with missiles to prevent Russia from further destroying Ukrainian cities, a senior adviser to the country's president said today.
Volodymyr Zelensky also said in his evening address:
“We will do everything in our power to ensure that partners begin these vital deliveries – especially of ATACMS and other similar weapons. Ukraine needs longer-range missiles to deny the occupiers the ability to deploy their missile launchers somewhere far from the front and to destroy Ukrainian cities. Because they are necessary to protect human life. I thank everyone in the world – politicians, public figures, journalists, and ordinary people who, together with us, insist that there are no taboos in the supply of weapons to protect against Russian terror “.
The Ukrainians have been calling since the summer for Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) with a range of up to 300 kilometers.
But analysts said at the time that the West was holding back on such a move because such missiles reach command centers, bases and warehouses deep inside Russian territory and could provoke Russia. But in the months that followed, Vladimir Putin annexed the occupied parts of Ukraine, and the massive rocket attacks on cities and civilian infrastructure did not stop.
“In order to drastically reduce the key Russian weapon – the artillery that they use today on the front – we need missiles capable of destroying their warehouses,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak told Ukrainian Russian-language TV channel Freedom. He explained that there are over 100 artillery depots in the occupied Crimea alone.
“Because of this, first of all, negotiations are already underway. Second, the negotiations are progressing at an accelerated pace. Third, our allies clearly understand why they are needed,” he added, without giving further details. According to him, they react conservatively abroad because it is difficult for them to perceive that the world security order is falling apart.
The Air Force of Ukraine today denied a report in a Spanish newspaper that it expected 24 fighter jets from the allies, specifying that negotiations were still ongoing. El Pais quoted Yuri Ikhnat, an air force spokesman, as saying that Kyiv initially requested two squadrons – possibly F-16s – of 12 aircraft each.
Ikhnat clarified today that he said only that negotiations were underway for aircraft, but not for their model or number, otherwise, the F-16s may be the best option for a multi-role aircraft to replace the aging Soviet machines.