Ukraine will finally get long-range weapons from its NATO allies. The US government announced on Friday that it would deliver the long-awaited GLSDB missiles, a weapon with a range of 150 kilometers, to Kyiv. During the war, the White House refused to provide the Ukrainian army with weapons that could be used for attacks on Russian soil or even Crimea, fearing that tensions with Moscow would escalate. According to the current front map, the GLSDB could reach any Russian position on Ukrainian territory, with the exception of Crimea. From the Russian border provinces, they could also be used to hit targets in enemy territory.
The GLSDB are small-bore, high-precision missiles with a lower payload than the Himars, the key weapon in Ukraine’s defense, with a range of 80 kilometers. In fact, the GLSDB can be fired from Himar’s shuttles. The GLSDB are manufactured by the American multinational Boeing and the Swedish Saab; His English initials correspond to the name Small Diameter Bomb Fired from Ground. They are designed to destroy precise targets, be they weapon supply points, fuel supply points or enemy command centers.
The elimination of senior Russian commanders based on intelligence from NATO allies or partisans in the occupied territories was crucial to the 2022 Ukrainian counter-offensives in Kharkiv and Kherson provinces. The structure of the Russian army is very vertical, with little room for improvisation in middle management, analysts such as scientist Olha Husieva from the Kiel Institute for Security or French General Jérôme Pellistrandi told EL PAÍS in January. When a Russian brigade loses its commander, hierarchy among troops is lost and retreat occurs, Ukrainian military veterans on the Zaporizhia front told this newspaper this week. US government sources assured The New Yorker last October that when they passed information to Ukraine on the location of targets at the front lines, they never identified the officers’ rank. “There are lines we don’t cross so that it won’t be perceived that we’re in direct conflict with Russia,” US Presidency sources assured the New Yorker. “We’re not trying to kill generals.”
Bloomberg agency reported on Friday that the minimum time to deliver the GLSDBs and train the units that operate them is nine months. The United States continues to refuse to supply Ukraine with two types of weapons that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy considers essential: long-range ATACMS missiles with a range of 300 kilometers and F-16 fighter jets. Both these fighter jets and the ATACMS are Kiev’s next diplomatic challenge, to be preserved from its allies. Such is the refusal of United States President Joe Biden to provide the ATACMS that even the twenty Himars launchers used in Ukraine were previously modified not to be used to launch those missiles.
The delivery of the F-16 is the hottest chapter in the negotiations between Ukraine and the NATO countries that support it. The United States government, which is the country that produces this fighter, one of the most widespread in the world, has the ability to veto the export of its units. Biden has categorically ruled out that the F-16s can reach Ukraine, fearing their weapons will be used to attack Russian territory and Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula illegally annexed by Russia in 2014. For the Kremlin, and for the majority of Russian society. Crimea is an integral part of its history. Ukrainian authorities are confident that the fighter jets will eventually join their air forces, along with other weapons that were previously discarded – so as not to increase tensions with Russia – such as the Leopard and Abrams tanks, the Patriot anti-aircraft batteries, or the missiles themselves. GLSDB.
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