Sunday, May 1, 2022

West Ramps Up Ukraine Weapons Aid as Expectations About War’s Outcome Shift: Governments see Ukrainian success offering chance of curbing Russian expansionism; Ukrainian Forces Get Crash Course on Javelin Missiles From U.S. Volunteers; Russian forces fail to capture key targets in eastern Ukraine, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Stanislav Yurchenko/Reuters
West Ramps Up Ukraine Weapons Aid as Expectations About War’s Outcome Shift:
Governments see Ukrainian success offering chance of curbing Russian expansionism
Ukraine’s military successes against Russia have transformed calculations in Washington and other Western capitals, leading to a sharp increase in military help for Kyiv as a war that started with Western efforts at damage control has become one that offers a strategic opportunity to constrain Russia’s expansionist ambitions.
The U.S. and its allies are now shipping large volumes of heavy weaponry to Ukraine, including more advanced Western systems to supplement the light weapons and Soviet-era arms that were funneled into Ukraine since before the invasion started.
Those shipments are aimed at supporting Kyiv in the next decisive phase of the war in coming weeks—but also to arm the country in a conflict that could last for months or years.
The war’s outcome is still uncertain but initial Western fears of a rapid Ukrainian military collapse that would leave a successful Russian military in control of the entire country have receded.
After planning for supporting an insurgency, Western governments now see a realistic prospect of Ukrainian success that pushes Russia farther out of Ukrainian territory and deters Moscow from future landgrabs, an outcome that would be a strategic win for the West. --->READ MORE HERE
Photographs by Manu Brabo for The WSJ 
Ukrainian Forces Get Crash Course on Javelin Missiles From U.S. Volunteers:
An American trainer known to his Ukrainian students simply as Texas carefully drew on a school blackboard the outline of a Russian T-72 tank and a plan of the surrounding area, and explained how he had ambushed it with a Javelin missile earlier this month.
Then he picked up the missile and its charcoal-grey command launch unit, or CLU, showing to a few dozen Ukrainian soldiers the correct firing positions. Another U.S. trainer, Mark Hayward, a 53-year-old retired U.S. Special Forces operator from Alaska, stepped in with advice on how to operate the antitank weapon in varying weather and light conditions.
“I know you are all infantrymen, but with this, you need to behave like snipers. Play spy games,” said Texas, a Ukrainian-born American whose real first name is Anton and who didn’t want to disclose his surname because his relatives still reside in Ukraine. “Everything is in your hands; 90% of the success depends on you, the operators, and only 10% on the missile.”
Weapons supplied by the U.S. and other Western allies, particularly the Javelin missiles that have a range of up to 3 kilometers—longer than the ranges of guns on most Russian tanks—have played a critical role in enabling outgunned Ukrainian forces to repel the massive onslaught of Russian armor since the war began on Feb. 24.
Even more sophisticated weapons systems, such as 155 mm howitzers with precision-guided munitions, are beginning to flow to Ukraine as Washington and partners start to provide Ukrainian troops with NATO-standard heavy weapons that could blunt Russia’s advantage in armor, artillery and aircraft. --->READ MORE HERE
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