Russian Ambassador | Washington’s decision to send ATACMS missiles to Ukraine is a “grave mistake”
Andreas Pogiatzi
Published on 18/10/2023 at 15:30

The US decision to equip the Ukrainian Army with ATACMS missiles is a “grave mistake”, Russian Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said in a statement released on Wednesday 10/18. The statement was made once Kiev confirmed that it had used these long-range missiles to hit Russian airfields.

“The decision of the White House to send long-range missiles to Ukraine is a grave mistake. The consequences of this measure, which was deliberately hidden from public opinion, will be very serious,” Mr. Antonov noted via Telegram.

“The US continues to push for direct conflict between NATO and Russia,” he added.

Washington confirmed yesterday that it recently delivered to Kiev a version of this weapon system with an effective range of 165 km (the maximum is 300 km).

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, also confirmed that Ukrainian Forces used ATACMS missiles after the Ukrainian military said it had hit two air bases in Russian-controlled sectors of Ukrainian territory.

According to Ukrainian Special Forces, nine helicopters, an anti-aircraft system, runways and various Russian equipment were destroyed at two bases near Luhansk (east) and Berdyansk (south) in the Azov Sea.

According to a pro-Russian source, Vladimir Rogov, an official stationed by Moscow in the Zaporizhia region, M74 submunitions, the type carried by the ATACMS, were found at the Berdyansk airport.

Kiev, which has been asking for ATACMS for months and has assured it will not use them to strike targets on Russian soil, says the weapons could change the course of the war that began 20 months ago when the Russian Army invaded Ukrainian territory.

Whether or to what extent such weapons will give an advantage to Ukraine remains to be seen.

For its part, the Kremlin assumes that the supply of ATACMS or other American weapon systems, and dozens of Abrams heavy tanks in particular, will not change the balance of power on the battlefield.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry announced via Telegram that air defence systems had intercepted and destroyed 28 Ukrainian drones in the Belgorod and Kursk regions and the Black Sea overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

Also read: Reuters | The US is ready to give ATACMS missiles to Ukraine




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