The Ukrainian Armed Forces troops deployed in Eastern Ukraine will be equipped with US-made Javelin ATGMs and Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UAV.
This was announced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF), Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, according to the UAF’s General Staff Facebook page.
According to Khomchak, the tactics of using Javelin are being worked out by soldiers of one of the brigades preparing to enter the Joint Forces Operation.
In the future, each of the brigades that will be sent to Eastern Ukraine will be strengthened by ATGM data, since they are already much more available than before, the military leader noted.
“In addition, in preparing this brigade for the next rotation, we will also work on the use of Bayraktar drones to carry out strikes on enemy targets,” added the commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
This was important, since according to Khomchak, Ukrainian troops had learned how to defend, but now they needed to improve their offense.
“Now we are devoting much more attention and time to preparing troops for offensive operations in urban areas. For six years we have learned how to defend well. And the army must be trained and attack day and night, in any weather conditions. I set this task a year ago. After all, the army should be fully prepared for different developments,” added Khomchak.
In the spring of 2018, Ukraine received 37 Javelin ATGM launchers and 210 missiles for them from the United States. Under the presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky, Kiev continued negotiations with Washington on new deliveries of these complexes: contracts for the second batch of missiles were signed in December 2019, some of them arrived in Ukraine in June 2020.
The statement by Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak goes directly against the claims by Ukrainian officials that any sort of de-escalation is being attempted in Eastern Ukraine.
It should be noted that back in May 2018, Georgiy Tuka, the deputy minister for the temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons of Ukraine said that the US had imposed restrictions on the usage of Javelin ATGMs in Eastern Ukraine.
According to him, one of the terms of the contract to supply the missile systems was “not to use these complexes directly on the contact line.”
At the same time, Tuka stressed that the ban can be canceled “at any time,” and just two such complexes would be able to inflict considerable damage on the enemy.
“I suppose that in the case that, as people say, our backs are against the wall, we will get permission from the U.S. to use two or three of these missile systems. And this will bring the enemy down a peg for a fairly long time,” the official added.
It is unclear if the ban has been lifted and Ukraine can now use the ATGMs or if the reports of equipping troops with them is a sort of publicity stunt.
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