Zaluzhnyi’s US adviser explains why Ukraine needs ATACMS missiles and F-16 fighters

5 February, 04:35 PM
ATACMS missile launch (Photo:US Department of Defense)

ATACMS missile launch (Photo:US Department of Defense)

Ukraine’s needs long-range missiles like ATACMS and F-16 fighters to attack the Russian invaders in places the HIMARS systems cannot reach, Dan Rice, special adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said in an interview with news agency Ukrinform on Feb. 5.

According to Rice, the Russians have moved supply depots beyond the range of HIMARS. Therefore, Ukraine needs the capability to “reach deep and disrupt any supply depots, large troop concentrations and command and control that are outside the range of HIMARS.”

Rice said he believes that the West should provide such assistance as soon as possible, so that Ukrainian forces can already use them in the spring or summer to repel the attacks of the invaders and carry out a counter-offensive.

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In January, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said that the United States maintained an “agree to disagree” position regarding the supply of ATACMS to Ukraine.

CNN, citing its sources, wrote on Jan. 20 that “in keeping with London’s more forward-leaning attitude toward military support for Ukraine, some British officials have expressed an openness to supplying the longer-range systems” to the Ukrainian military.

Deputy White House National Security Adviser John Feiner said on Jan. 26 that the U.S. is ready to tentatively discuss with Kyiv and its allies the idea of supplying fighter jets to Ukraine. And Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, when asked about the possibility of supplies, said that the United States is not going to remove anything from the agenda.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden later responded negatively to a question about whether the country would supply F-16s to Ukraine. However, he did not elaborate on his words.

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