Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

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There is a new and potentially very important factor in the Ukrainian conflict: the ability of Ukrainians to use recently supplied western systems hitting Russian command posts, logistics centers and ammunition depots far beyond the front lines.

Last week there were huge explosions in several occupied areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Available evidence, from satellite imagery and Western analysts, shows that the targeting was very effective.

For months, the Ukrainian military has been advocating for long-range precision artillery and rocket systems from Western partners. Now they have them and are deploying them with considerable effect in the south and east of the country.

Ukraine’s military doesn’t give many details, but Vadim Denysenko, a senior Interior Ministry official, said Wednesday that over the past two weeks, “especially thanks to the weapons Ukraine has received, we We were able to destroy about two dozen weapons warehouses and stocks of fuel and lubricants. This will certainly affect the intensity of the fire,” he said.

The US-provided HIMARS multiple rocket launcher system is best in class, but the Ukrainians also received M777 howitzers from the US and Canada, and Caesar long-range howitzers from France.

Additionally, the UK has pledged to supply M270 Multiple Launch Systems (MLRS), which are more powerful than HIMARS, but it is unclear when Ukraine will complete training on the system and deploy it.

The versatility of the HIMARS is in its name: the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. Its mobility makes it harder to target, and it can only be equipped with eight soldiers. The rockets supplied to Ukraine have a range of 70 to 80 kilometers (about 50 miles). And their GPS guidance systems make them extremely accurate.

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