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The US secretly supplies Kiev with long-range missiles

2024-04-25 07:53:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
The US secretly supplies Kiev with long-range missiles
Illustrative photo

US officials have confirmed that Ukraine has begun using long-range ballistic missiles secretly supplied by the US against Russian occupation forces.

The weapons were part of a $300m (£240m) aid package approved by US President Joe Biden in March and they arrived this month.

They have already been used at least once to hit Russian targets in occupied Crimea, US media reports.

Biden has signed a new $61 billion aid package for Ukraine.

The U.S. previously supplied Ukraine with an intermediate-range version of the Army's Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), but had been reluctant to send anything more powerful, in part because of concerns about compromising U.S. military readiness. of.

However, Biden is said to have secretly given the green light to send the long-range system, which can launch missiles up to 300 km (186 miles) away, in February.

"I can confirm that the United States provided long-range ATACMS to Ukraine at the direct direction of the president," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.

The United States "did not announce this at the outset to maintain operational security for Ukraine at their request," he added.

It is not clear how many of the weapons have been sent, but US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington plans to send more.

The longer-range missiles were used for the first time last week to hit a Russian airport in occupied Crimea, Reuters news agency cited.

And the new missiles were also used in an attack on Russian troops in the occupied port city of Berdyansk overnight on Tuesday, according to the New York Times./ CNA

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