Use of ATACMS – “Dragonfly” by Ukraine delivers a bitter blow to the Kremlin

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Ukraine has severely hit the Russian bases far behind the front. This was apparently the first time US ATACMS missiles were used. The Biden administration’s actions open up new possibilities – and increase pressure among allies.

Russian military bases in the occupied Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Berdyansk were severely hit on Tuesday evening. This is special because the targets of the Ukrainian ‘Operation Dragonfly’ – Dragonfly in German – are sometimes as much as 150 kilometers behind the front.

Zelensky confirms the deployment of ATACMS
On Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed what many war observers had already suspected: the US would have supplied Ukraine with long-range ATCAMS missiles for the first time.

“My special thanks today go to the US. Our agreements with President Biden are working,” Zelenskyj explained in a video address on the X platform. The agreements would be executed “precisely”. “ATACMS have proven themselves.”

The Ukrainian president is probably referring to the Biden administration’s demand that the long-range missiles can only be used on Ukrainian territory. This restriction was deemed “non-negotiable” by US representatives.

“Secret” delivery
The Wall Street Journal and CNN reported on Tuesday, citing informed sources and US government officials, that the “secret” delivery had recently taken place. The new weapon has not yet been found in the armor packages that have been delivered. Apparently to surprise the Russian side.

The ATACMS supplied are not equipped with a single warhead, but with cluster munitions. Moreover, these are models with a smaller range. There was initially no information from the US Department of Defense.

So far, the West has equipped Ukraine with Storm Shadow cruise missiles to hit strategically important targets. The difference with ATACMS: they are many times slower than the American model. This is especially a problem with mobile targets.

Military bloggers in turmoil
In Russia, the new threat will likely be taken very seriously. Military bloggers loyal to the Kremlin described the latest attack as the worst on Russian air bases since the Russians invaded Ukraine nearly 20 months ago. According to Ukrainian information, airfields and military helicopters in Luhansk and Berdyansk were specifically targeted. The losses on the Russian side would be serious.

In addition, special technology and an anti-aircraft launch platform were destroyed, the army’s special forces in Kiev told Telegram on Tuesday. The runways were also damaged. Two ammunition depots went up in flames. The explosions are said to have lasted for hours, according to videos on social media.

Ukraine has long demanded ATACMS missiles from Lockheed Martin with a range of up to 300 kilometers. They are fired from the ground at targets on the ground and hit very precisely. Newer models can be driven, older ones cannot.

Scholz under pressure
Due to their range, ATACMS are often compared to the German Taurus martian bodies, which Kiev also calls for. The Taurus cruise missiles are capable of destroying bunkers and protected command posts up to 500 kilometers away.

Pressure on the German federal government is now likely to increase. Experts believe it is possible that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will abandon his blockade position, as he has already focused on US supplies in the past. By then, Russia would have to move logistically important bases, supply lines and much more further into the hinterland.

Source: Krone

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