U.S. Warns That Russia Plans to Annex Captured Territory in Ukraine

Credit…Anastasia Vlasov/ The Washington Post, through Getty Images

The commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces mentioned on Tuesday that new lengthy vary artillery methods provided by the United States are serving to in “stabilizing” the nation’s protection. Russia’s protection minister, against this, on Monday ordered his forces to make it a “priority” to seek out and destroy the weapons.

The two assessments are broadly divergent however they level to a single conclusion: the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, weapons, first deployed in late June, are making a mark on the battlefield in Kyiv’s favor.

Russian forces have been loath to speak about setbacks since their invasion started in February, however the order by the protection minister, Sergey Shoigu, is a tacit admission of the effectiveness of the weapons, essentially the most superior provided by any Western nation to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s authorities since Russia’s forces invaded Ukraine in February.

Twelve of the missile methods have been provided in current weeks and since then Ukraine has reported a string of assaults on Russian ammunition dumps deep behind the entrance line, typically coupled with movies posted on social media of huge explosions and pillars of flame and smoke.

Ukraine’s navy chief, Gen. Valerii Zalyzhnyi, mentioned that the weapons had been an “important factor” in stabilizing the nation’s defensive strains, and he claimed that they had delivered “surgical strikes on enemy control posts, ammunition and fuel storage depots.”

The weapons, whose satellite-guided rockets have a spread of greater than 40 miles, have allowed Ukraine to focus on important Russian command and logistical facilities that some navy analysts say might disrupt Russia’s capability to deploy its biggest asset, specifically its superiority in lengthy vary artillery.

Moscow’s benefit in artillery allowed it to make sluggish and bloody progress within the jap Donbas area within the spring and early summer season. But since Russian forces seized the final main metropolis in Luhansk Province, Lysychansk, earlier this month, they haven’t made any important positive factors.

Gen. Shoigu, talking throughout an inspection of Russia’s navy forces stationed in Ukraine, gave directions to the Russian commander to make it a “priority” to “defeat of the enemy’s long-range high-precision missile and artillery weapons,” in keeping with Russia’s Ministry of Defense.


While navy analysts cautioned that no single weapons system might flip the tide of the struggle, there’s some proof of the impression the HIMARS are already having on the battlefield. A senior U.S. navy official mentioned the weapons had been having a “significant impact.”

Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic research at St. Andrews college, referring to the HIMARS, mentioned that “signs are that they have restricted the amount of concentrated Russian artillery fire.”

Credit…Planet Labs Pbc/Planet Labs PBC, through Associated Press

Russian forces have two choices to counter the menace. The first is to destroy the missile methods themselves, which Moscow claims to have finished on two events in current weeks, although it has supplied no proof to help its claims and the Ukrainians say they’re false. The second is to maneuver or disperse its shops of ammunition and different important gear, making it tougher for the HIMARS to strike concentrated targets.

The Ukrainians have accused Russian forces of more and more positioning gear close to important infrastructure and civilians. Doing so might complicate any Ukrainian counteroffensive; comparable actions had been already posing challenges as Ukraine sought to strike targets in occupied elements of the nation.

Ukraine’s armed forces mentioned on Tuesday that that they had struck and brought on an enormous explosion at warehouses in Nova Kakhovka, in Kherson, a area that Moscow captured in March. The metropolis, on the Dnipro River, is near a dam and hydro-electric plant, important items of infrastructure that would, in idea, make Ukrainian forces reluctant to assault.

The final check of the brand new weapons, the navy analyst Michael Kofman mentioned, is whether or not they assist Ukraine launch a profitable counteroffensive to regain territory.

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