New US military aid to Ukraine likely to cross Putin’s ‘red line’




NEW DELHI: The United States is set to enhance Ukraine’s military capabilities with a new aid package, including a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) that might feature a modification potentially provoking Russia. The Department of Defense (DoD) announced this $100 million package on Monday, which also comprises anti-aircraft missiles, artillery rounds, and cold-weather gear.
The DoD emphasized that this aid aims to bolster Ukraine’s defense and deter future Russian aggression, labeling it as “a smart investment.”
As per a US department of defense release, here are the details of weapons included in Ukraine aid package worth up to $100 million:

  • Stinger anti-aircraft missiles
  • One High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and additional ammunition
  • 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds
  • Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles
  • Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems
  • More than 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition
  • Demolitions munitions for obstacle clearing
    Cold weather gear
  • Spare parts, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.

“The United States remains committed to working with the coalition the United States has built of some 50 Allies and partners who are providing Ukraine with the capabilities it needs to defend itself now and deter Russian aggression well into the future.Our allies and partners have stepped up to provide approximately $36 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Under the leadership of the United States, this global coalition has enabled Ukraine’s courageous forces to successfully defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, win critical battles that repelled Russian forces, and take back more than half of the territory seized by Russian invaders,” the department of defense release said.
However, a report from Militarnyi suggests that the inclusion of just one HIMARS could mean it’s equipped for long-range capabilities, a move that Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously warned against, a Newsweek report said.
According to Militarnyi, this modified HIMARS could potentially launch Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDBs) and long-range missiles used in Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS). Newsweek has reached out to the Pentagon and the Russian Ministry of Defense for comments.
Russia has consistently expressed its opposition to the US supplying Ukraine with long-range weaponry. Last year, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova cautioned that providing Kyiv with longer-range missiles would cross a “red line,” implicating the US directly in the conflict.
Despite these warnings, the US has already supplied Ukraine with GLSDBs and ATACMS this year, and its allies have also surpassed the so-called red line. Russia, however, has not yet acted on its threats.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov expressed serious concerns in January, a day after the US announced the shipment of GLSDBs to Ukraine. He stated that these weapons, capable of striking targets within Russia, were “extremely dangerous” and could escalate the conflict significantly.
Although ATACMS missiles can reach over 180 miles, the variant sent to Ukraine reportedly has a range limit of 100 miles and is equipped with cluster munitions. This development in military aid to Ukraine marks a significant moment in the ongoing conflict, reflecting the delicate balance of power and the geopolitical implications of military support.


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