Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine



Ukrainian government officials are asking the US for additional weapons systems and ammunition amid a major counteroffensive that has successfully pushed Russia out of key cities in northeast Ukraine.

Against the backdrop of this fresh momentum, Ukrainian officials told US lawmakers that the Ukrainian military needs new equipment to sustain the push. Specifically, they say they need long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, which can fire as far as 180 miles, according to a source who has seen the list and described it to CNN.

The US has been reluctant to provide the ATACMS out of concern that they could be used to fire into Russia and potentially escalate the conflict further. But in an analysis published last week, two top Ukrainian generals — Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi and Lt. Gen. Mykhailo Zabrodskyi — said that Ukraine is at a disadvantage because the Russians have assets that can fire as far as 1,200 miles, whereas the Ukrainians’ systems have a maximum range of around 60 miles. 

“Thus, from the onset of the large-scale aggression, Russian weapons could hit targets 20 times farther than the Ukrainians,” they wrote. 

When Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was asked why the US has not sent ATACMs to Ukraine yet, despite Ukrainians’ request for them, Austin said the US is in “constant communication” with Ukraine about what weapons they need and stressed, “it’s not just about one particular weapon or weapons system.”

“It’s about how you integrate these systems and how you integrate the efforts of various elements in the inventory to create effects that provide advantages to the Ukrainians,” Austin said during a press conference in Prague on Sept. 9.

The source said that the Ukrainians also said they need 2,000 more missiles for their High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, which the US began providing earlier this summer, plus additional Harpoon anti-ship missiles and more drones and tanks.

The wishlist was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. 

The Biden administration has committed nearly $15 billion in security assistance to Ukraine this year alone.

CNN reported last week that the Pentagon is preparing a detailed analysis and working out how to support Ukraine’s military in the medium and long term, including after the war with Russia has ended, according to three defense officials.

The efforts are being led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and would build on the billions of dollars in military aid the US has given to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February.



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