After warnings from Moscow, Washington secretly modified the Himars missiles sent to kyiv.
Published on 6.12.2022
The Wall Street Journal revealed that Washington introduced modifications to the HIMARS missiles sent to Ukraine in order to prevent the expansion of the war with Moscow.
Quoting US officials, the American newspaper reports that “the United States secretly modified the sophisticated HIMARS missile launchers it had supplied to Ukraine, so that they could not be used to launch long-range missiles on Russia”.
Officials said it was “a precautionary measure that the Biden administration says is necessary to reduce the risk of a slide into regional or global war with Moscow.”
According to US officials, the Pentagon has modified the launchers so that “long-range missiles, including the US military’s tactical missile system, ATACMS, with a range of approximately 200 miles, cannot target their targets.
US officials stressed that “the amendment aims to make it impossible to use them to launch long-range missiles at Russia.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously threatened that the Russian armed forces would “bomb targets in Ukraine that have not been targeted before, if Washington supplies kyiv with long-range missiles”. He seems to be referring to the possible bombardment of decision-making centers in kyiv in the event that HIMARS missiles were used to strike Russian territory.
In a related context, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that “if the West provides kyiv with long-range weapons, the geographical objectives of the special operation in Ukraine will go beyond its current objectives”.
Russia has already sent a memorandum to NATO countries on the supply of arms to Ukraine. Lavrov said that any cargo “containing weapons destined for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia”, considering that “the arming of Ukraine by NATO adds fuel to the fire”.
Earlier, the US administration said that the range of the HIMARS missiles, transferred to kyiv, “will not exceed 80 km”, noting that Ukraine “has assured the United States that they will not be used against targets in Russia”.
Ukrainian military leaders have said US HIMARS missile systems are useless in battles in the city of Artyomovsk, especially after they failed to significantly affect Russian forces’ supply lines.