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Putin’s ‘Red Line’: Will Ukraine Get MLRS Rocket Systems to Fight Russia?

MLRS
MLRS rocket system. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

What will Putin do if MLRS heads to Ukraine? With Ukrainian soldiers facing off with Russians in the eastern Donbas region, and Ukrainian ships still blocked from leaving ports on the Black Sea, long-range missiles will prove an effective and necessary tool for Ukraine to take back control of its territory and destroy Russian ships and bases in the south.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agrees, too, calling for more long-range multiple launch rocket systems to be sent to the country as the fighting heats up.

What Did Boris Johnson Say?

This week, the British Prime minister said that Ukraine should be armed with more long-range missile systems to help Ukrainian forces prevent the Russians from gaining any more ground in the Donbas region.

Johnson stopped short, however, of committing his country to sending the M270 rocket system – a more powerful MLRS that Kyiv has repeatedly requested from the United Kingdom, United States, and other NATO member states.

Johnson said that new long-range missile systems will help the country “defend themselves against this very brutal Russian artillery, and that’s where the world needs to go.”

The British PM made the comments during an interview with Bloomberg, in which he also expressed concern that Russian soldiers were “continuing to chew through ground” in Donbas, adding that while progress was slow, it is still progress.

Here Comes the MLRS? U.S. Prepares to Send Long-Range Rocket Systems

While the United Kingdom has not yet made a decision on whether it will supply the M270 rocket system to Ukraine, possibly over concerns that it would be considered escalatory by Russia, the United States is reportedly considering sending new long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.

CNN revealed how the Biden administration is preparing to give Ukraine the weapons system its government has asked for, citing multiple officials familiar with the discussions.

After considering the request for weeks, the Biden administration reportedly discussed security concerns with the National Security Council to determine whether sending new weaponry would put the United States at risk. If the U.S. chooses to approve the sending of the new weapons, which could ultimately help Ukraine push Russian soldiers back across the border, it would indicate that the Biden administration does not believe the Kremlin will respond military against NATO countries.

Soon after CNN broke the news, however, a Russian television host warned that the move would constitute the crossing of a “red line.”

“The US intends to discuss the issue of supplying Ukraine with these weapons as soon as next week,” popular Russian television host Olga Skabeeva said.

“At the present moment, the issue is being addressed by the US presidential administration. So now, we are not even talking about tactical weapons anymore, but about the operational-tactical weapons.”

Skabeeva noted that the MLRS in question can launch missiles over 500k, and that providing such a weapon to Ukraine would “provoke a very harsh response from Russia.”

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. speedster

    May 28, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Quote “the emperor has no clothes”, can be applied to the Russian reaction to the potential supply of long range weapon system to ukraine. This weapon and the previous weapons are no less comparable to the missiles that Russia has inflicted on ukraine.Unless ukraine is given weapons that can remove or at least negate the Russian willingness to carry out massive destruction, then ukraine would be fighting with one hand tied.
    The russians are bluffing.

  2. RUSSIAN SCUM

    May 28, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT RUSSIA CAN TOTALLY DESTROY AND KILL IN UKRAINE BUT UKRAINE CAN’T DEFEND ITSELF? RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE SO THEY DESERVE THE BEST WEAPONS THE WHOLE WORLD CAN GIVE THEM SO THEY CAN PUSH THE SCUM MURDERERS OUT OF THEIR COUNTRY.

  3. aldol11

    May 29, 2022 at 6:14 am

    What will Putin do if MLRS heads to Ukraine?
    more of the same: barking and threatening a lot

  4. Stefan Stackhouse

    May 30, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Ukraine can’t roll back the Russians unless they can decisively outgun them. However, if the Ukrainians are armed with the types of weapons they need to go on the offensive, then they will inevitably be advancing to the point where the range of those weapons can reach into Russia. There is no way around this. Either we are going to have to take a chance with Russia, or else tell Ukraine that there is only so much we will do to help and no more. Sometimes the only choices one has are bad choices.

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