Ukraine used long-range ATACMS missiles provided by the United States against Russian forces for the first time


WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-range ballistic missiles requested by Ukraine have been quietly delivered by the United States and are being used On the battlefield against Russia An official familiar with the move said Tuesday, nearly a month after President Joe Biden promised them to his Ukrainian counterpart.

The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly before the official announcement, and spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Delivery of missiles to Military front It was shrouded in secrecy, with the expectation that the first public recognition would come when the missiles were used on the battlefield.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders are urgently pressing the United States to provide the Army’s tactical missile system, known as ATACMS. But the The United States declined for several monthsConcerned that Kiev might use the weapons to strike deep into Russian territory, angering Moscow and escalating the conflict.

Biden finally It gave the green light for delivery last month He told Zelensky during a meeting at the White House that the United States would finally give Ukraine ATACMS, according to officials at the time. However, the United States declined to provide any details about timing or how many missiles would be delivered, although officials indicated the plan was to send a small number of about 24 missiles.

Because of ongoing US concerns about escalating tensions with Russia, the ATACMS version that went to Ukraine will have a shorter range than the maximum distance the missiles can reach. While some versions of the missiles can have a range of about 180 miles (300 kilometers), the missiles sent to Ukraine have a shorter range and carry cluster munitions, which when fired open in the air, releasing hundreds of small bombs, rather than firing them. One warhead.

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