BREAKING: Zelensky Confirms Use of U.S. ATACMS After Destroying 9 Russian Helicopters

Zelensky Confirms Use of U.S. ATACMS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday acknowledged his military has used the U.S.-supplied Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) against Russian targets for the first time.

During his nightly video address, Zelensky confirmed the use of ATACMS missiles and thanked U.S. President Joe Biden for providing the long-range weapon….CONTINUE READING HERE

A “small number” of ATACMS missiles were “secretly sent to Ukraine in recent days,” The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, had reported before Zelensky’s admission. A post shared on social media early Tuesday said its footage showed ATACMS missiles targeting Russian positions in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces announced Tuesday it had destroyed nine helicopters, an air defense system, an ammunition warehouse and other infrastructure during overnight strikes on Russian military airfields in the occupied Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Berdiansk. Dozens of Russian soldiers were reportedly killed or injured in the attacks.

Ukrainian media outlets have since said ATACMS missiles were used in the airfield strikes.
Volodymyr Zelensky in
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference after an October 11 meeting in Brussels. On Tuesday, Zelensky confirmed that his military had recently used U.S.-supplied long-range missiles known as ATACMS for the first time against Russian targets. Photo by ERIC LALMAND/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Zelensky did not say where his military had used the ATACMS missiles and did not mention Luhansk and Berdiansk during his evening address.

“Thank you to everyone who is fighting and working for Ukraine!” he said, according to a translation by the media outlet Ukrinform. “Thanks to everyone who helps! And today, a special thanks to the United States. Our agreements with President Biden are being fulfilled.”

The Ukrainian leader added: “They are fulfilled pretty accurately—the ATACMS have proven themselves well.”

The White House has not publicly commented on the delivery of ATACMS to Ukraine. The Pentagon told Newsweek it had no information to offer regarding the missiles and directed queries about Ukrainian operations to Kyiv’s armed forces.

ATACMS missiles can be used in High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which the U.S. has already sent to Ukraine.

Zelensky’s military had been provided only with the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System for use in HIMARS before receiving the ATACMS. The GMLRS has a range of approximately 56 miles, compared with the 186 miles of maximum range that ATACMS can achieve.

Kyiv officials have been requesting long-range surface-to-surface missiles from the United States and other Western allies since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukrainian officials have said such weapons would greatly increase Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Putin’s forces. However, the Biden administration had been reluctant to provide Kyiv with long-range missiles out of concern that such a move could result in a military escalation by Putin….CONTINUE READING HERE