Zelensky Says New HIMARS From U.S. to 'Speed Up' Ukraine's 'Liberation'
The Ukrainian president cheered an additional $270 million in military assistance announced by the White House on Friday.The White House on Friday announced that an additional $270 million in security assistance would be sent to Ukraine, including the four HIMARS. The rockets have been seen as crucial to helping Kyiv's forces repel Moscow's military.
As American-supplied HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems continue to hit Russian ammunition dumps and command centers behind the front lines, and while press reports speculate optimistically about a looming Ukrainian counteroffensive around Russian-occupied Kherson, experts in Kyiv remain adamant that more material aid from the West is needed.
Sophisticated artillery systems have effectively disrupted Russian supply lines, but basic military items such as armored vehicles, secure communications equipment and loads of ammunition are of at least equal importance to Ukraine's ongoing war effort.
Neither Moscow nor Kyiv can control Ukraine's skies. These are the jets they're using to fight the air war.
As of late July, observers have identified 36 Russian aircraft and 35 Ukrainian aircraft as lost, but the totals for both sides are likely higher.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.
Newsweek sat down this week in Kyiv, Ukraine, with one of those experts, Anton Gerashchenko, to get his insider's view of the current situation on the ground. Gerashchenko is an official advisor at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. He served as a people's deputy of Ukraine during the presidency of Petro Poroshenko (2014-2019), and as deputy minister of internal affairs during the first two years of Volodymyr Zelensky's administration (2019-2021).
This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Newsweek:The U.S. Department of State recently announced that the Pentagon has provided $950 million in security assistance to Ukraine in fiscal year 2022 alone. What more does Ukraine need?
Presidential advisor Mikhail Podalyak laid out these needs last month: 2,000 troop transport vehicles, 1,000 gun-mounted vehicles, 500 tanks, 300 multiple launch rocket systems, and also the drones and communications equipment necessary to maximize the effectiveness of these systems. HIMARS and heavy artillery are a good first step, but if we do not have the technology to find and correct targets for artillery strikes, then we're just shooting blind.
President Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces are counterattacking and advancing towards the captured city of Kherson
UK intelligence states that Russia may see a "significant military and political setback" as Ukraine counterattacks target Russian-occupied Kherson.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.
It is also important to ensure that regular infantry soldiers are better equipped and protected. After all, it is infantrymen with rifles who will have to make any advances to liberate Ukraine's occupied cities, and they will need a full array of integrated weapons systems in order to do so. In particular, we have a great need for more armored vehicles. If we cannot get them, then this is what happens.
[ed. Here Gerashchenko pulled out his phone and showed a clip depicting the aftermath of a Russian cluster munition exploding over a platoon of Ukrainian troops. At least four dead bodies were strewn about the ground as a cursing comrade searched for survivors.]
This is from Lysychansk two weeks ago. If our soldiers had had proper armor, the cluster munition would not have had this effect. If they had been inside of an armored vehicle, this would not have happened. This is why we need a full array of Western military supplies.
Moldova says it fears a Russian invasion as more neighbors ring alarm over Ukraine war
Moldova, which neighbors Ukraine, has a breakaway region backed by Russian forces. The Moldovan prime minister said a Russian invasion is "a risk."Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.
Newsweek: Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz of Indiana recently questioned the Ukrainian government's commitment to ensuring that military aid is put to its intended uses. The UK's Financial Times even ran an article on July 12 suggesting that weapons sent to Ukraine had been smuggled out of the country and were available for sale on the black market in Europe. What is Ukraine doing to make sure that Western support is not squandered?
Ukraine is completely open to our partners controlling the delivery of weapons and their distribution. There are no complications in this. The Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine's parliament] has formed a commission, the aim of which is to control the distribution of weapons. It is only natural that our Western allies demand information on how we are using these weapons, because we with our allies share a common aim: to fight against Russia aggression.
Most importantly, everyone ought to be aware by now that Russia is trying to gin up hysteria in the West about the possibility of weapons sent to Ukraine ending up in Europe. This is nonsense. What weapons? HIMARS? 777 Howitzers? There is not a single fact of weapons going from Ukraine into Europe. All that exists is noise and propaganda, created by Russia.
Two of Putin's top Russian pilots were killed by US-supplied HIMARS, report says
One of the Russian pilots' fathers revealed that he believed his son's death was caused by HIMARS, a long-range weapons system from the US.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.
No Ukrainian officer on the front would sell a weapon, nor in the rear as well. If he did, he would not even have time to be prosecuted, because his fellow soldiers would simply, let us say, 'soak him in the outhouse.'
[ed. Gerashchenko's 'soak him in the outhouse' phrase was a direct quote of Russian then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who in 1999 promised to do the same to those responsible for detonating a series of bombs in Moscow apartment blocks. The phrase has alternatively been translated as "whack them in the can," "kill them in the toilet," and "wipe them out in the sh****r."]
Newsweek: On June 30, Joe Biden announced that his administration was prepared to maintain its support of Ukraine for "as long as it takes." Why is it important that Ukraine continue to receive shipments of military aid?
Let me begin with an analogy to history. When the Second World War began and the US committed itself to supplying Great Britain with munitions, America could not give what it did not have. It was necessary to ramp up industrial production then, and the same is true today.
There are not publicly available figures on the number of HIMARS rockets and 155mm shells currently in storage in NATO countries, but now is the time for Western and Ukrainian leaders to begin calculating how much ammunition is available, how much is likely to be needed in order liberate our occupied territory in the regions of Kharkiv, Zaporozhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk, and then to ramp up industrial production in order to meet the need. This production process can take months, which is why it is critical that it begins today.
Russian Hackers Target U.S. HIMARS Maker in 'New Type of Attack': Report
Hackers first announced their intention to infiltrate giant U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin on July 22.The Kremlin-supporting Life website reported that the cyberattack by the Killnet and Killmilk hacker groups took place at 7 a.m. on Monday.
Given our current level of supply, without the material support of the West, Ukraine is capable of fighting only for a few more months. With the support of the West, however, we are capable of defeating Putin. The industrial capacity of the West is orders of magnitude greater than that of Russia. It is only a question of Western will to commit itself to doing what needs to be done, and to do it now.
We need planning on the level that Roosevelt demonstrated during the Second World War. American and European factories need to ramp up production, because if the delivery of ammunition ceases, then all of those hi-tech systems we are receiving suddenly become nothing more than scrap metal.
Newsweek: What would you say to an American taxpayer who still might not understand why it is in his or her interest to be sending so much aid and equipment to Ukraine?
It's very simple, really: this is also your war. The West understands that human life is the most important thing there is. The West lives in the paradigm of human rights and of inviolable borders. Putin violated Ukraine's borders, and he is killing innocent Ukrainians. If the West doesn't help, it will mean that the forces of evil are greater than the forces of good — that the right of strength is stronger than the strength of rights.
Russia Destroys More Than 100 HIMARS Missiles: Defense Ministry
Both Ukraine and the U.S. have been touting the war-torn country's use of the HIMARS weapons systems against Russia.The missiles were destroyed by Russia's Aerospace Forces, comprising the air and space branches of its armed forces, in a strike on a Ukrainian ammunition depot on July 24, according to the Russian state-controlled news site RT, which cited a Wednesday report from Russia's defense ministry. The ammo depot was located near a settlement called Lyubimovka in Ukraine's Dnepropetrovsk region.
Put quite simply, Putin should have been stopped in 2014, and now the world is paying double for its failure to take action back then. We have to stop Putin now so that other dictators do not even get the idea to try to solve their own problems through the use of force.
EDITOR'S NOTE: 07/29/22 9:02 a.m. ET: On July 28, after publication of this story, RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency, used Anton Gerashchenko's quote above, "HIMARS and heavy artillery are a good first step, but if we do not have the technology to find and correct targets for artillery strikes, then we're just shooting blind," as evidence that Ukrainian forces were firing HIMARS systems without properly identifying their targets (https://t.me/rian_ru/172599). Gerashchenko then reached out to Newsweek and explained that his comment was intended to highlight the necessity of Ukraine's Western partners continuing to provide a full complement of military equipment, and not that Ukraine was improperly identifying or striking its targets.
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Pentagon says Russia has suffered as many as 80,000 casualties in Ukraine and lost thousands of armored vehicles .
An official said the figures are "pretty remarkable considering that the Russians have achieved none" of Putin's objectives from the start of the war.Roughly 70,000 to 80,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded during the first five and a half months of the war, Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, said during a press briefing Monday, adding that the figure is "pretty remarkable considering that the Russians have achieved none of Vladimir Putin's objectives at the beginning of the war.