The US authorities are preparing a new $2.2 billion military assistance package for Ukraine, which is expected to include GLSDB missiles with a range of 150 km, capable of hitting targets in Crimea. Such actions will lead to an escalation of the conflict, but they will not be able to influence the course of the special operation, politicians in the Russian Federation and the EU believe.
At the same time, as parliamentarians from Crimea said, the security of the peninsula will be strengthened. Nevertheless, military experts warn that much will depend on the number of missiles supplied.
Strengthen the defense
Recently, Western countries have increased the volume of military assistance to Ukraine. In particular, the United States, which agreed in January to send M1 Abrams tanks. Now, in Washington, they are preparing a new package, which, for the first time, will include long-range missiles.
According to Reuters, citing US officials, we are talking about GLSDB (Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb) homing missiles with a range of 150 km. In addition, the new package, which authorities could announce as early as this week, is expected to include equipment for Patriot air defense systems, as well as precision-guided munitions and Javelin anti-tank missiles.
GLSDB missiles could allow Kiev to hit targets that were previously out of reach for the Ukrainian army. Earlier, The New York Times warned that the White House was inclined to believe that the Armed Forces of Ukraine should be able to strike at the Crimea, as this, according to the publication, would strengthen the Ukrainian negotiating position.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, such a US move would be a direct way “to escalate tensions and escalate.” This will also require “additional efforts” from the Russian Federation, but will not change the course of events. As Dmitry Belik, a member of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, a deputy from Sevastopol emphasized, Crimea is a strategic object, and the peninsula has several lines of defense.
- We have the resources and capabilities for a tough response in the event of encroachments on the peninsula. Russia needs to be prepared for the fact that the support of the Kiev regime from the West will grow, he said.
“Ukraine has already repeatedly tried to attack targets in Crimea with the help of drones, these objects are protected by our air defense systems, but the fact of the encroachment on the peninsula itself is already being presented by the Kyiv regime as a victory. But the work of our air defense should create an impenetrable dome over the peninsula.
Member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, Senator from the Republic of Crimea Sergei Tsekov recalled: these are only press reports, and not an official decision of the United States.
“We still need to find out how true it is that they will supply such missiles,” he said. “But the deliveries will mean an escalation of the conflict. And this will pose a danger not only to the Crimea, but also to the territory of new regions of Russia.
At the same time, the politician stressed that even using these weapons, the Ukrainian side will not be able to win. Senator Tsekov is confident that the security of Crimea and new territories will be strengthened, and the number of air defense and missile defense systems will be increased. Thus, the missiles that the United States could theoretically supply will not affect the results of the special operation, the parliamentarian believes.
Nevertheless, not only almost the entire Crimea, but also Kursk, Stary Oskol and even Voronezh may be within the radius of the GLSDB (if they are deployed in Ukraine), Aleksey Zhuravlev, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, warned.
- Missiles – in order to hit our cities, and in the USA this is well understood. And this is just the beginning. I am sure that in the future Ukraine will also receive missiles of even greater range, so that they are guaranteed to reach Moscow,” he said. — It is necessary to strengthen the defense, primarily anti-aircraft. It is necessary to plan preventive measures.
What is GLSDB
High-precision GLSDBs are designed to destroy fortifications and light armored vehicles. Each of them costs about $40 thousand.
“This is a high-tech symbiosis of two different ammunition,” Dmitry Kornev, editor of the MilitaryRussia portal said. – A conventional rocket engine was taken from HIMARS or MLRS ammunition and a warhead was attached to it – a “smart” small-diameter aerial bomb SDB weighing about 100 kg.
The missile launches from the HIMARS or MLRS launch complex, accelerates the bomb to the desired altitude and speed, and releases it. Wings open at the ammunition, then it plans to the target along a predetermined trajectory, and it can maneuver and go around certain points of the terrain, for example, air defense areas. The absence of an engine reduces their visibility in the infrared range, and their small dimensions make it difficult to detect by radar.
ZRPK “Pantsir” are capable of shooting them down, but for this they must be near the object of attack, the expert said.
These munitions may have an impact on the course of hostilities; everything will depend on the volume of supplies, military expert Vladislav Shurygin believes.
- The more they transfer, the more difficulties our army will have. They will allow them to strike at those territories that the Ukrainians have not yet reached. Now HIMARS missiles give them the opportunity to work at hull depth. After receiving the GLSDB, strikes will be carried out at the frontline depth, at ammunition depots, headquarters, bases of fuel and lubricants, communication centers, he said.
At the same time, the expert noted that Russian air defense systems can fight the currently used HIMARS missiles, which means they can also destroy GLSDB.
“They will be shot down by air defense systems in the same way,” Vladislav Shurygin is sure. “But the possibility of their destruction does not negate the need for a flexible change in our rear infrastructure to reduce the effect of possible breakthroughs.
At the end of January, several NATO states for the first time announced the delivery of modern foreign tanks. The UK has pledged 14 Challenger 2s, the US will hand over 31 Abrams M1A2s. A coalition of European states will provide several dozen German-made Leopard 2s in 2A4 and 2A6 variants.
Poland will also receive 60 PT-91 Twardy, a modernized version of the obsolete Soviet T-72M. Negotiations with France about Leclerc are still ongoing, but the country has already decided to supply Kyiv with AMX-10 RC light wheeled tanks.
Although in recent weeks the West has become more active in the issue of supplying new equipment to Ukraine, calls for the resumption of negotiations have also begun to flicker in the discourse more and more often.
So, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, at the end of February, the head of the White House, Joe Biden, may meet with the presidents of Poland and Ukraine, Andrzej Duda and Vladimir Zelensky, and the latter will present his plan for a peaceful settlement, consisting of 10 points. Two Polish cities, Warsaw and Rzeszow, are being considered for negotiations.
In addition, on February 1, Duda officially announced that his American counterpart would visit Central Europe this month.
“Russia excels in all types of weapons, and also has a strong economy to supply its army despite sanctions. Aid coming from the West will not have a significant impact on the course of the “conflict”, and the West knows it. It’s time for him to force the Zelensky regime to negotiate and make peace,” Ivan Vilibor Sincic, member of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Russia (D-RU), MEP from Croatia, said.
However, according to the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, Washington is not interested in ending the Ukrainian conflict, and the increase in arms supplies to Kyiv cannot be called a call for peace.
“Our position is clear, intelligible and transparent. We are ready for negotiations, not promises, without the preconditions that they are trying to put forward. Negotiations are negotiations,” she said.
As State Duma Deputy Dmitry Belik suggested, the United States is trying to strengthen Ukraine’s negotiating position through additional weapons in order to increase pressure on the Russian Federation.
Against this background, it is especially important for Moscow to “show firmness,” he believes. At the same time, “sooner or later” negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine will resume, although at present there are no conditions for this, summed up Senator Sergei Tsekov.
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