Sunday, February 5, 2023

Ukraine Hopes New Bombs From U.S. Will Help It Push Back Russia; Analysis: Ukraine's New Weapon will Force a Russian Shift; Netanyahu Would Consider Ukraine-Russia Mediator Role If Asked; Netanyahu Would Consider Sending Iron Dome to Ukraine, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photographs by Emanuele Satolli for The WSJ 
WSJ: Ukraine Hopes New Bombs From U.S. Will Help It Push Back Russia:
Ukraine last summer stunned Russian troops with precision strikes from U.S.-supplied Himars mobile rocket launchers. Now an even more potent rocket system holds the potential to re-energize Kyiv’s troops.
U.S. officials are expected Friday to say they will give Ukraine new Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs, precision-guided, 250-pound explosives that are strapped to rockets and can be fired from a Himars or another launcher. The armament, which has never been deployed and is only at the start of production, has a range of roughly 94 miles, or around twice the range of current Himars shells.
It isn’t clear when Ukraine will receive the GLSDBs, or how many it will get, but when they arrive they could have a significant impact on fighting, analysts say.
“It doubles how far you can keep your own people safe and put the other side in danger,” said Dan Wasserbly, a military expert at defense-analysis group Janes in Washington.
Himars in late summer caused enormous damage to Russian forces because their satellite-guided precision let Kyiv pick off Moscow’s ammunition depots, command centers and barracks near front lines. Russia’s military eventually reacted by moving those operations out of their range. GLSDBs would put much of Russia’s operations within Ukraine back in Kyiv’s targeting range.
One place Ukraine is likely to use the new bombs is the south, where Russian forces have recently been staging attacks. While brutal fighting is raging around the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas area, the south may be more strategic for both sides because there Russia controls a strip of land from its own border on Ukraine’s eastern tip stretching to the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014.
Ukraine wants to sever that land bridge and cut off Russian forces in Crimea. One widely discussed option for a Ukrainian offensive would be a push south through the Russian-controlled band, from Zaporizhzhia, located about midway along the land bridge, to the Sea of Azov.
“Zaporizhzhia is one of the most important fronts,” said Col. Yevhen Yerin, head of the joint press center for Ukraine’s forces in the region. “It’s the key to the land bridge to Crimea and to the entire south.”
He declined to comment directly on whether Ukraine was planning an offensive in the region: “We’ll see what the possibilities are. We’re analyzing the current situation.” --->READ MORE HERE
REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Analysis: Ukraine's new weapon will force a Russian shift:
The United States has answered President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's plea for rockets that can strike deep behind the front lines of the nearly year-long conflict with Russia.
Now Russian forces will need to adapt or face potentially catastrophic losses.
The new weapon, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), will allow Ukraine's military to hit targets at twice the distance reachable by the rockets it now fires from the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). If included as expected in an upcoming weapons-aid package first reported by Reuters, the 151 km (94 mile) GLSDB will put all of Russia's supply lines in the east of the country within reach, as well as part of Russian-occupied Crimea.
New rockets will extend Ukraine's reach
This will force Russia to move its supplies even farther from the front lines, making its soldiers more vulnerable and greatly complicating plans for any new offensive.
"This could slow down [a Russian assault] significantly," said Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Ukraine's former defence minister. "Just as HIMARS significantly influenced the course of events, these rockets could influence the course of events even more."
GLSDB is GPS-guided glide bomb that can manoeuvre to hit hard-to-reach targets such as command centres. Made jointly by SAAB AB (SAABb.ST) and Boeing Co (BA.N), it combines the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) with the M26 rocket motor, both of which are common in U.S. inventories.
It is not yet compatible with HIMARS, but the United States will provide Ukraine new launchers for the rockets, said sources. GLSDB could be delivered as early as spring 2023, according to a document reviewed by Reuters. --->READ MORE HERE
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