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President Joe Biden has greenlit sending ATACMS long-range missiles to Ukraine. Sources speaking to multiple news outlets revealed that Washington will supply a version equipped with cluster munitions as opposed to a single warhead.
This decision, made before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s US visit, was kept under wraps, with an individual noting the intention to “avoid tipping off the Russians.”
The supplied missiles can cover distances of up to 190 miles, enhancing Kyiv’s ability to target Russian forces from greater distances than before. Initially, the missiles will be sent in limited quantities.
Previously, the United States was holding back on Ukraine’s requests for these munitions due to concerns of potential conflict escalation and the Pentagon’s reservations about their own inventory levels. However, recent clearance from the Pentagon and other agencies facilitated the decision.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan commented on Thursday, stating Biden continually consults with “his own military and to his counterparts in Europe and to the Ukrainians themselves” about battlefield necessities and America’s contribution, ensuring the US’s “own deterrence and defense needs” are met.
Previously, the Biden administration supplied Ukraine with 155mm cluster munitions and announced a $325 million aid package inclusive of air defense, cluster munitions, and M1 Abrams tanks.