Anti-ship missiles, air defense systems and even more Javelin systems – the Americans are developing a new plan for the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. As the Western media emphasize, this is necessary in the event of a direct military clash between Kiev and Moscow. And although the Russian Defense Ministry announced the withdrawal of troops after the end of the exercise, the Pentagon is unlikely to give up the opportunity to further militarize the region.
NATO made it clear enough that they are not going to fight with Russia for the sake of Ukraine and will not send soldiers to Donbass. However, the West will not give up the material and technical support of Kiev.
Alliance spy planes and drones hang over the Black Sea and near the contact line every day, transmitting information to the Ukrainian General Staff. The intelligence of the DPR and LPR constantly notices foreign military specialists in the trenches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. NATO military transport planes with mysterious cargo regularly land in Kiev.
And in late April, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bipartisan Security Partnership with Ukraine bill, which raises military aid to Kiev to $ 300 million. As the Ukrainian ambassador to Washington Oksana Markarova reported on social networks, lethal weapons will also be purchased with this money.
The Wall Street Journal argued that the Pentagon is going to provide Ukraine with air defense systems, anti-ship and anti-tank missiles, operational-tactical strike systems.
Obviously, the most sophisticated weapons will be deployed and tuned by Western specialists – Ukrainian military personnel are not yet trained for this. This means that a small contingent of the alliance’s troops will nevertheless take part in a potential armed conflict on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Kiev authorities, sensing a military freebie, immediately began to demand more. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba admitted in an interview with Reuters that he had asked US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to help provide modern electronic warfare. According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine need this to “resist Russia’s ability to block Ukrainian communications.”
Moreover, many experts are sure that Western electronic warfare systems are already being deployed in the Donbass. In particular, the military expert Aleksey Leonkov believes that it is they who are hastily transferred by cargo sides to Kiev. This is indirectly confirmed by the recent reports of the People’s Militia of the unrecognized republics that the drones of the OSCE mission often simply cannot take off – control signals are jammed from the Ukrainian side.
The specific weapons that Washington will provide to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the event of an aggravation in the Donbass have not yet been named. Probably, the Pentagon will strengthen the air defense of Ukraine with Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems – Kiev has been begging for them for a long time.
And in mid-April, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, Andriy Yermak, literally demanded that the United States deploy Patriots in Ukraine, pompously declaring that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are holding a defense against Russia “for the sake of the whole West.” In addition, according to the Kiev authorities, several divisions of American air defense systems would accelerate the process of joining NATO.
As for anti-ship missiles, the Pentagon may transfer a batch of Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Ukraine. Yes, Kiev does not have air and sea platforms for the use of these weapons, however, “Harpoons” are also produced in a coastal version, on special tractors. The range is 280 kilometers. Let us recall that the ships of the Black Sea Fleet are capable of firing a salvo of winged “Calibers” at a distance of over two thousand kilometers.
To destroy targets deep in the enemy’s defenses, the Ukrainian ground forces can be provided with American operational-tactical complexes HIMARS with an ATACMS missile firing range of no more than 270 kilometers, which is again inferior to the Russian Iskander-M missile system, which has a range of 500 kilometers. In addition, third-generation Javelin anti-tank systems will continue to arrive in the Armed Forces – money has been allocated for this.
Seven years of supply
The Americans have been actively supplying the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the very beginning of the civil war in Donbass. And if spare parts for armored vehicles and ammunition for small arms are purchased mainly in the countries of the former socialist camp, then all kinds of auxiliary equipment and special equipment – primarily in the United States.
At first, Washington limited itself to non-lethal products. So, in 2014, Kiev received about two thousand body armor, two dozen AN / TPQ-48A counter-battery stations, 35 HMMWV armored vehicles and a field hospital. In 2015 – 130 Hummers and five high-speed boats. In 2016 – 14 radar stations, more than two thousand night vision devices, five HMMWV armored vehicles in a medical evacuation version, 24 sets of light RQ-11B Raven UAVs. In 2017 – 40 more “Hummers” and about 700 radio stations.
In 2018, the Pentagon sent to Ukraine already lethal weapons – 35 anti-tank missile systems FGM-148 Javelin and 210 missiles for them. Kiev has been begging Washington for Javelins since 2014, believing that these ATGMs are capable of bringing a decisive victory. However, they never made it to the front. According to the conditions of the Americans, these complexes should not be used directly on the line of contact of the conflicting parties and can be thrown into battle only in the event of a full-fledged “Russian aggression”.
In addition to the Javelins, in 2018 the Pentagon provided the Ukrainian Armed Forces with 2,500 night vision devices, a batch of mine detectors, evacuation Hummers, three counter-sniper systems, as well as 30 off-road vehicles, two radars and medical equipment worth nine million dollars. In 2019, support was roughly the same, totaling $ 361 million. In 2020, Washington has already forked out 510 million. It is known that another batch of Javelins was brought to Ukraine. In addition, in September, the State Department approved the sale of 16 Mark VI patrol boats to Kiev for $ 600 million. However, they were not informed when they would be handed over.