A Ukrainian soldier stands near a damaged Russian tank in Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.
photo: AP/ Andrii Marienko
In response to the Pentagon's statements about military support for Ukraine with missiles capable of targeting the Crimea peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, the Kremlin stressed that such positions directly confirm Washington's involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said during statements to reporters by phone today, Wednesday, that an official indication of the US Department of Defense that Kyiv may use American equipment and weapons to strike targets in Crimea is very dangerous and evidence of Washington's direct involvement in the conflict, according to Reuters.
It came in response to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, who pointed out that Washington considers delivering Ukraine the HIMARS launchers capable of reaching the "vast majority" of Russian targets, including Crimea.
She also made clear in statements yesterday that the Pentagon does not see any need to provide Ukrainian forces with ATACMS tactical missiles with a range of up to 300 km, in addition to the GMLRS guided missiles with a range of 80 km that they already have. "According to our estimates, with the help of GMLRS missiles they have for HIMARS launchers, they can eliminate the vast majority of targets on the battlefield," she added.
It is noteworthy that the United States pledged again yesterday to provide an additional $625 million in military aid to Kyiv as part of a package that includes advanced missile systems from HIMARS that is credited with helping the Ukrainian army gain momentum in its fight against Russian forces, during the attack. The counterattack launched a few weeks ago in the south and northeast of the country, regaining control of dozens of towns that had been in the hands of the Russians for months.
Following Ukraine's initiative in regaining lost territory, Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions to deny Ukraine any more advancements and challenge them with the possibility of a nuclear strike, as the Kremlin has repeatedly threatened to do so.
Since last July, the HIMARS system has become a significant tool in Ukraine's ability to strike the bridges that Moscow used to provide its forces with equipment, ammunition, supplies, and others. It has contributed significantly, in addition to other missile systems, to support the Ukrainian army.