The Ukrainian military arsenal will further strengthen. The United Kingdom will indeed provide rocket launchers with a range of 80 kilometers to face the Russian offensive, announced on Monday the British Ministry of Defense, taking over from Washington.
These multiple rocket launcher systems (M270 MLRS) will “significantly increase the capabilities of the Ukrainian forces”, the ministry said. This decision was taken in “close coordination” with the United States, which announced last week the supply of Himars systems with a range of 80 kilometers, that is to say multiple rocket launchers mounted on light armour.
The Ukrainians had for some time been calling for multiple rocket launchers that would allow them to hit Russian positions in depth while placing their batteries further from the front. Anxious to avoid the United States being considered a co-belligerent, however, US President Joe Biden has ruled out delivering long-range rocket launcher systems to Ukraine that could reach Russia, despite repeated requests from kyiv for obtain such weapons.
Russian President Vladimir Putin especially warned on Sunday that Moscow would strike new targets if the West provided long-range missiles, judging that current arms deliveries were aimed at “prolonging the conflict”.
“If the international community maintains its support, Ukraine can win,” commented British Defense Minister Ben Wallace. “Russia’s strategy is changing, and our support must change as well,” he added, stressing that these new weapons would allow the Ukrainians “to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery, which the Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to raze cities”. UK military support to Ukraine so far amounts to more than £750m (around €874m).