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Pentagon says Ukraine may use new weapons to hit Russian targets in Crimea

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Senior Pentagon officials said Thursday that Ukrainian forces will be able to use newly delivered coveted long-range missile systems to more effectively target Russian forces in occupied Crimea.

After months of requests, Ukraine received a long-range version of the Army’s tactical missile system, called ATACMS, which has a range of up to 190 miles. Ahead of this month’s delivery, the United States has provided Ukraine with a version of the system with a 100-mile range and a wide range of cluster munitions.

U.S. national security officials say most of the long-delayed weapons deliveries need to focus first on bolstering Ukraine’s defenses. The new system can penetrate deep into Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and target supply nodes for Russian forces in the southeast.

The new long-range system is aimed at putting more pressure on Crimea, a hub for Russian air and ground forces and “where Russia currently has a relatively safe haven,” a senior defense official told the News told reporters at a briefing Thursday at the Pentagon.

Pentagon officials declined to disclose the exact number of remote systems that have been sent to Ukraine.this Biden administration dispatches remote ATACMS Secretly, to avoid alerting the Russians.they are one Shipments USD 300 million Announced in March, it was the country’s first new aid package since funds ran out at the end of December. Congress approves new round of military aid Going to Ukraine this week.

Ukraine used long-range missiles to attack Russian forces in the port city of Berdyansk on Tuesday night, a senior U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. Ukrainian social media accounts last week reported a massive fire and explosion at a military airport in Zhankoy, Crimea, which two U.S. officials said was a remote ATACMS target. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked top military commander General Alexander Silsky in a speech that night but did not elaborate on the attack.

“One of the things we’ve seen is that when Ukraine gets supplies, they’re able to function,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a report. hosted the conversation Thursday at Georgetown University’s School of Politics and Private Service.

President Biden’s decision in February to send more than 100 remote systems to Ukraine was a major policy shift. His government had previously avoided sending the systems out of concern that Kiev would use them to attack Russian targets, which could further inflame the conflict.

But more than two years after Russia invaded and occupied Ukraine, Biden’s calculus has changed, administration officials say.As Congress spends months considering another Aid package for Ukraineits forces ran out of ammunition and equipment and lost territory to Russia’s slow but steady advance.

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