Russian soldiers fought to seize complete control of the eastern industrial city of Sievierodonetsk on Wednesday, while the United States announced it will send Ukraine with advanced rockets to assist Kiev in pressuring Russia to negotiate an end to the conflict.
President Joe Biden stated that the United States will give Ukraine with more sophisticated rocket launchers and munitions so that it may “attack vital military targets with greater precision.”
Biden stated in an op-ed for the New York Times, “We have acted swiftly to deliver Ukraine a large amount of weapons and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the bargaining table.”
A senior Biden administration official stated that the provided armament would include the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which Ukraine’s armed forces head deemed “crucial” against Russian missile attacks a month prior.
In response to worries that these weapons could bring the United States into a direct battle with Russia, senior administration officials have stated that Ukraine has assured them that the missiles will not be used to launch attacks within Russia.
The U.S. official told reporters, “These systems will be utilised by the Ukrainians to fight Russian advances on Ukrainian territory, but they will not be deployed against targets on Russian territory.”
Interfax said that shortly after the U.S. decision was announced, the Russian defence ministry stated that Russia’s nuclear troops were conducting drills in the Ivanovo area, northeast of Moscow.
The ministry was quoted as claiming that more than 100 vehicles, including Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, were used in strenuous military exercises involving approximately 1,000 service members.
The decision to supply new weaponry by the United States was not mentioned in the Interfax story.
The latest U.S. offer of arms for Ukraine – in addition to the billions of dollars worth of equipment already delivered, including anti-aircraft missiles and drones – came as Russia continued its attack to grab the eastern Donbas area, abandoning its earlier thrust against Kyiv in the north.
Tuesday, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai announced that Russian forces now control the majority of the eastern industrial city of Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk, one of two provinces in the Donbas.
Almost all of Sievierodonetsk’s vital infrastructure was destroyed, and 60 percent of residential property was irreparably damaged, he claimed. The Russian bombardment had rendered it impossible to supply relief or evacuate civilians.
A Russian victory in Sievierodonetsk and its twin city Lysychansk across the Siverskyi Donets river would result in complete control of Luhansk, one of two eastern provinces Moscow claims for separatists.
A pro-Moscow separatist leader stated that Russian proxies had moved more slowly than anticipated in order to “protect the city’s infrastructure” and to be cautious near its chemical industries.