Ukraine Praises U.S.-Delivered HIMARS Rocket Systems As “Game Changers” – Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov praised recent military aid package deliveries from the United States, describing the longer-range rocket systems as a “game-changer” in the war against Russia.
Reznikov praised the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, also known as HIMARS, delivered to Ukraine as part of a recent aid package. He also described how the weapons systems had been used by Ukrainian troops to defend the town of Izyum.
“We needed to persuade them, to show them proof,” Reznikov said of his military’s ability to properly use the weapons.
In Izyum, Reznikov said that Russian troops were able to precisely target a Russian command center using the HIMARS.
“It was really precise,” he told the newspaper. “Our partners saw it and said, ‘you passed the test.’”
Reznikov also said that, while the weapons have proven effective, Ukraine needs many more of them to fully push back Russian forces in the Donbas.
Ukraine Requests Three Weapons Systems to Beat Russia
Mykhailo Podolyak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said over the weekend that there are three specific weapons systems that Ukraine needs to successfully push back Russian forces.
Podolyak proposed three components of a “turning point” in the war in Ukraine.
“HIMARS for high-precision targeting rear bases, logistics,” he said.
“Heavy artillery on the frontline allows matching number parity,” he continued, adding, “APC for ‘breakthrough fists.’”
Podolyak said that these three weapons systems will ensure that Ukraine can more quickly “clean” their land of the Russian invaders.
The Ukrainian official’s “APC” comment refers to Varta Armored Personnel Carriers, an armored vehicle designed to transport troops that was developed by Ukrainian Armor. The Ukrainian Armed Forces received the first Varta APC vehicles in December of 2018.
“We need to refresh our platoons and change them and make replacements also because we also have a lot of losses,” Reznikov said. “We are waiting for more armor, more weaponry from our partners.”
The defense minister also said that Ukraine must “rebuild” some positions and “refresh” fortifications as the military adopts a “new operational strategy.”
While many of the weapons requested by Ukraine are indeed on their way from the United States, some vital pieces of artillery and rocket systems may not arrive for several more months.
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.