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Why Ukraine needs ATACMS missiles: Zelenskyy explained reason

Why Ukraine needs ATACMS missiles: Zelenskyy explained reason Photo: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine needs to acquire ATACMS missiles to be able to target the airfields that Russia has deployed in Crimea. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated this in an interview with The Washington Post.

According to the President, ATACMS missiles can target objects in the Russian-occupied Crimea, including airfields launching aircraft with precision missiles. These same missiles recently hit Odesa and several other targets.

"When Russia has missiles and we don’t, they attack by missiles: Everything — gas, energy, schools, factories, civilian buildings. ATACM-300s, that is the answer," Zelenskyy said.

The President noted that he wants to use longer-range missiles not to attack Russian territory but specifically to target airfields in Crimea.

"When Russia knows we can destroy these jets, they will not attack from Crimea. It’s like with the sea fleet. We pushed them from our territorial waters. Now we will push them from the airports in Crimea," he said.

He also mentioned that in February, during the Munich Security Conference, he presented a map of targets that could be targeted by anti-aircraft missile systems. In particular, military platforms of the Russian Federation, such as airports, air defense systems, and other objects, were indicated there.

"We could use naval drones to push their fleet out of our territorial waters and the entire western part of the Black Sea, yes. But it’s not enough to win. These are drones, not missiles," he said.

ATACMS for Ukraine

Last year Ukrainian soldiers struck at Russian airfields in Luhansk and Berdiansk. Information emerged in the media that the Ukrainian Armed Forces used American long-range ATACMS missiles for the strike, provided in small quantities. Later, the United States confirmed this information. Washington clarified that they provided our soldiers with missiles with a range of up to 165 kilometers.

As early as October 2023, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that the supply of ATACMS to Ukraine would be on a regular basis.

Recently, the American agency NBC News reported that the White House is working to provide Ukraine with new powerful long-range ballistic missiles.

The American agency Politico also wrote that the new package of military aid to Ukraine from the United States could include several long-range ATACMS. However, these missiles were not included in the new American aid package.