Missile strike hits a Russian military base near Sevastopol
Joe Biden has told Volodymyr Zelensky the US will hand Ukraine devastating long-range missiles dubbed the “wonder weapon” to aid the war with Russia in a monumental blow for Vladimir Putin.
The US president made the announcement to his Ukrainian counterpart in the latest round of crunch talks between the two leaders, three US officials and a congressional official familiar with the discussions told NBC News.
It remains unclear when the missiles will be delivered or when a public announcement is going to be made.
But this is a massive win for Ukraine and Zelensky who have long-pleaded for the Army Tactical Missile System, known as ATACMS.
This would give their troops the ability to strike targets from as far away as about 180 miles, hitting supply lines, railways and command and control locations behind the Russian front lines.
Defense officials have however conceded the US does not have a large stockpile of excess ATACMS as they are more expensive to provide to Ukraine than traditional artillery.
There has also previously been some resistance in Washington to send the “wonder weapon” because of fears it would widen the already brutal war with Russia.
During recent weeks, Joe Biden’s administration has significantly shifted its position on which it is going to send to Ukraine having previously been accused of being too slow when compared to other Western nations.
The White House initially withheld approval for requests for Szthe likes of tinger anti-aircraft missiles, Howitzer artillery pieces, anti-ship missiles and HIMARS systems, before later giving them the green light.
Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky met at the White House on Thursday as Ukraine asks the West to send more devastating weapons to help it defeat Russia.
Mykola Volkivskyi – a former advisor to Ukraine’s Parliament was in Washington for the talks – had said the longer-range ATACMS missile system would be “crucial” for his country.
He told Daily Express US: “It is clear that the supply of weapons and an increase in their number will be the number one topic of the talks. I think that a new military aid package will be announced following the meeting.
“Announcements on ATACMS may come at the talks. I think Zelensky has every opportunity to convince Biden to hand over the missiles by showing him the course of events on the Ukrainian front.”
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