Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that most US-supplied missile systems use location data provided by Washington or its allies to carry out strikes. About it reported on Thursday, The Washington Post, citing Ukrainian and American officials.
As detailed in the material, Ukrainian officials noted that they “need for the vast majority of strikes using advanced missile systems transferred by the United States, the provision of coordinates and confirmation by the United States and its allies.” The publication states that this indicates a greater involvement of the Pentagon in the fighting in Ukraine than previously thought.
“One high-ranking Ukrainian official said that Ukrainian forces almost never launch the latest weapons without specific coordinates from the US military from bases anywhere in Europe. Ukrainian officials say these procedures should give Washington more confidence in delivering long-range weapons to Kyiv.” — noted in the article.
The publication clarifies that we are talking, in particular, about strikes using HIMARS and M270 multiple launch rocket systems.
As follows from the publication, the American official acknowledged that the United States plays a “key role” in terms of carrying out these missile strikes. According to him, “targeting assistance is aimed at ensuring accuracy and saving limited ammunition supplies for maximum efficiency.”
According to the US official’s version, “Ukraine does not ask the US for permission to strike and regularly strikes Russian forces on its own with other types of weapons.” According to him, the American side “provides coordinates and information for accurate target designation” as an advisory support.
According to the publication’s source from among Ukrainian officials, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are choosing a target to strike. Further, the Ukrainian side “requests more precise coordinates from its American partners.”
“The Americans, according to this official, do not always provide the requested coordinates. In this case, the Ukrainian military does not strike,” — stated in the article.
It says that “Ukraine could strike without the help of the United States,” but does not want to waste expensive ammunition. The UAF “usually decides not to attack without US confirmation,” the source said.
The newspaper states that Kyiv is seeking the provision of operational-tactical ballistic missiles of the ATACMS family from the United States. A Ukrainian official, referring to Washington’s fears that this could escalate, said: “You still control almost all launches. So when you say you’re afraid we’ll use them for some other purpose, we can’t do it even if we wanted to.” The American official disagreed with this assessment, the article says.
The material provides a commentary by the Pentagon press secretary Patrick Ryder. According to him, the United States “has long recognized that it provides intelligence to Ukraine.” As he added, the US “over time streamlined” the process of providing information to facilitate the “targeting process” at a greater speed and on a larger scale.
According to Ryder, “Ukrainians are responsible for finding targets, prioritizing them, and then making the final decisions about which ones to hit.”
“The US does not approve targets, and we do not participate in the selection and destruction of targets,” Ryder said.