Ukraine has promised to refrain from using U.S.-supplied HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to strike targets in Russian territory, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview with BBC News Ukraine on July 15.
“That’s true, I’m not denying that we obliged to avoid using high-precision weapons against targets in Russia proper,” said Reznikov.
“That’s what we told everyone, I even personally penned a corresponding letter to my U.S. counterpart, Defense Secretary (Lloyd Austin), assuring him that will use U.S. high-precision weapons only to defend ourselves or liberate Russia-occupied Ukrainian lands.”
Austin then asked if this pledge extends to Crimea, which has been under Russian occupation since 2014.
“I replied that we have enough strategic enemy targets on other occupied Ukrainian territories,” Reznikov said, indicating this satisfied Austin’s concerns.
U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed on July 9 that Washington is planning to supply Ukraine with four more HIMARS, meaning that Kyiv will soon be operating 12 such systems.
An opinion piece in the Washington Post recently advocated for bringing the war to a speedy conclusion by sending as many as 60 HIMARS to Ukraine, given how effectively they are in stemming Russia’s offensive capacity.
Ukrainian HIMARS destroyed dozens of Russian ammo depots and command outposts in recent weeks, dramatically undercutting the intensity of Russian artillery fire and offensives in Donbas.