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Zelensky: Ukraine needs ATACMS missiles to stop ‘Russian terror'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 29, 2023 12:55 AM 2 min read
An ATACMS missile (Wikimedia).
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Jan. 28 that Ukraine needs longer-range missiles, including MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), to stop "Russian terror."

The HIMARS missiles that Ukraine currently uses have a range of 80 kilometers and cannot reach many of the Russian-occupied areas. So far, the U.S. has refused to supply ATACMS missiles, which have a range of 300 kilometers, and GLSDB missiles, which can travel for 150 kilometers.

As an example of Russian terror, Zelensky cited a Russian missile attack on the town of Kostyantynivka in Donetsk Oblast that killed three people and injured 14 on Jan. 28.

“Ukraine needs long-range missiles to prevent (the Russian) occupiers from placing their missile launchers somewhere far from the front line and destroying Ukrainian cities with them,” Zelensky said.

He also said there shouldn't be any “taboos” in the supply of weapons for Ukraine to protect itself from Russian aggression.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that our partners open up this vital supply, including the delivery of ATACMS and other similar weapons,” he said.

ATACMS can travel farther than any of the U.S. weapons that have been supplied to Ukraine so far.

According to Politico, Zelensky unsuccessfully asked for ATACMS during his in-person conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on Dec. 21.

The U.S. has been reluctant to supply ATACMS due to the fear of escalation and the concerns that they may be used to attack Russian territory. Supporters of supplying ATACMS argue that Kyiv's inability to strike targets far from the frontline results in the deaths of numerous Ukrainians and makes it very difficult for Ukraine to expel Russian troops from its territory.

Zelensky also said he had signed a decree approving a proposal by the National Security and Defense Council to sanction 185 legal entities and individuals used by Russia to “transport personnel and military equipment by rail.”

“Their assets in Ukraine are blocked, and available property will be used for our defense. We will work to ensure that similar sanctions are applied by other countries as well,” Zelensky said.

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