Lin the United States ” will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced missile systems and ammunition that will allow them to more accurately hit key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine »writes Joe Biden in a contribution to the NNew York Times, broadcast Tuesday, May 31 by the newspaper. A senior White House official said in an interview with the press that it was Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), that is to say multiple rocket launchers mounted on light armor.
He said that the equipment sent to the Ukrainian army would have a range of about 80 kilometers. It is therefore not a question of very long-range systems, of several hundred kilometres, as the Americans also have. This equipment is part of a new broader component of US military assistance to Ukraine, totaling $700 million, the details of which are to be given on Wednesday.
Indicating that he wanted Ukraine to be ” in the strongest possible position » in the event of negotiations with Russia, the American president told him: ” We do not encourage Ukraine and we do not give Ukraine the means to strike outside its borders. » Joe Biden has always been concerned since the start of the conflict not to supply weapons which, according to him, would put the United States in a position of co-belligerent alongside the Ukrainians.
While the European Union has just tightened economic screws with a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow, including an embargo on Russian oil, Washington is advancing on military support. For specialists, the Himars could change the military balance of power on the ground, while the Ukrainian army seems to be retreating in the Donbass in the face of Moscow’s firepower.
Deep hitting Russian positions
In his gallery in the New York Timesthe Democratic President also assures, at a time when the Ukrainian army is facing an extremely intense Russian offensive in the east of the country, that he ” will not pressure the Ukrainian government, privately or publicly, to make territorial concessions ».
Russian forces have the stated objective of controlling the entire large mining basin of Donbass, of which pro-Russian separatist forces backed by Moscow took partial control in 2014. They seized on Tuesday a large part of the strategic city of Sievierodonetsk.
The Ukrainians had for some time been calling for multiple rocket launchers that would allow them to hit Russian positions in depth while placing their batteries further from the front. The American Congress has recently released a new gigantic envelope, of 40 billion dollars, to finance the sending of armament to Ukraine.
Evacuation of civilians made impossible in Sievierodonetsk
” Given the presence of large-scale chemical production in Sievierodonetsk, the strikes of the Russian army in this city, with indiscriminate aerial bombardments, are simply crazy »reacted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video message on Tuesday evening. ” But at 97e day of such a war, it is no longer surprising that for the Russian military, for the Russian commanders, for the Russian soldiers, any madness is absolutely acceptable »he added.
The fighting, too dangerous, prevents the evacuation of civilians, which made the governor say that there is no ” now no possibility to quit » the city on Tuesday, the day after the death in this area of French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, who accompanied a humanitarian vehicle evacuating residents. There could remain 12,000 civilians in the city, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an NGO whose main staff in Ukraine was based there until the Russian invasion of the country on February 24.
According to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar, one of Moscow’s objectives is ” to encircle the Ukrainian troops and complicate the situation by blackmailing us later with these encircled troops, what can generally be called a “cauldron” ». ” So far they have not succeeded, because the Ukrainian army is resisting with great power »she said Wednesday morning on YouTube, before acknowledging that the Russian forces possess ” an advantage in terms of the amount of equipment, weapons and men ».
In the south, Ukrainian forces have claimed to regain ground, particularly in the region around Kherson, a city near Crimea which came under Russian control in early March. On the diplomatic level, the absence of talks does not suggest any ceasefire soon, even punctually.
“The ball is in their court”, replies Lavrov
Westerners seem to be concentrating their efforts on unblocking Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Hundreds of tonnes of Ukrainian grain cannot be exported due to a Russian blockade, raising the risk of a global food crisis. The establishment of ” secure corridors » for the transport of these grains will be at the heart of the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Turkey on June 8, according to his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Cavusoglu.
But Sergei Lavrov blamed Kyiv and Westerners on Tuesday. ” Western countries, which have created a ton of man-made problems by closing their ports to Russian ships, cutting logistics and financial chains, need to think hard about what matters most. »he said in reference to the sanctions against Moscow.
” Either publicize the issue of food security or solve this problem with concrete measures: the ball is in their court »he continued, during a visit to Bahrain.