Explain Ukraine 16:45 08 Чер 2023

Why does Ukraine need long-range missiles?

Rubryka gives an explanation.

Since day one of the full-scale war, Ukraine has successfully used a long-range firing strategy. Russian resources weakened day by day, which came in handy for the dynamic counteroffensive in Kharkiv and Kherson regions. Ammunition depots, logistics centers, soldier's camps, and air defense are all within range of Ukraine's army, causing fewer casualties and noticeable progress. Caesar guns, with a range of 40 kilometers, and, above all, the HIMARS, with a range of 70 kilometers, became precious assets in the war but lacked power until the arrival of the JDAM and Storm Shadow missiles.

Long-range missiles will give Ukraine a precision capability and allow it to launch strikes deep inside occupied territory. Ukraine can also conduct airstrikes on the Russian Black Sea Fleet ships, which has played a key role in the shelling campaign against Ukraine. The fleet was thought to be beyond the reach of most Ukrainian weapons, however, that has become no longer a case after the Russian Moskva cruiser was sunk in April 2022. Russia's logistics systems lie 80 to 120 kilometers from the front line, meaning Ukraine needs longer-range strike systems to target them. To prepare for an offensive operation, Ukrainian forces destroy enemy clusters, deep behind the front line, 100–150 kilometers behind the Russian positions. This means precision strikes require Western-made modern missiles.

Last but not least, it is a matter of national defense. Despite Russia's complaints about foreign assistance to Ukraine, the state itself pledges to strike exclusively enemy military facilities. As the latest reports show, the effectiveness rate of Storm Shadow missiles alone is 100%, hitting the right target without causing civilian casualties. Ukraine has proven to hold this pledge, as we note in our other explainer (meaning the "Why did Ukraine pledge not to strike Russia with long-range missiles?"). The possession of advanced missiles can give Ukraine additional leverage in diplomatic negotiations and discussions concerning regional security and geopolitical matters. It can strengthen Ukraine's position in seeking international support or resolving conflicts.


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