A US M270 MLRS self-propelled armored salvo rocket launcher in Ukraine at an unspecified location in the Donetsk region on November 24, 2022.
Washington – The United States is helping Ukraine with the determination or confirmation of coordinates during attacks by advanced rocket launchers on Russian targets. Citing unnamed Ukrainian and American sources, The Washington Post reported about it on Thursday. According to him, the cooperation between the armies of Ukraine and the USA is closer than previously assumed.
Photogallery: Russian invasion of Ukraine
In recent months, the Ukrainian army has been regularly attacking Russian targets in the occupied part of the country, including headquarters, ammunition depots and barracks, using American HIMARS or M270 rocket launchers. According to one senior Ukrainian official, Ukrainian forces almost never launch rocket launchers without receiving precise target coordinates from US troops stationed elsewhere in Europe.
According to the newspaper, a high-ranking American representative confirmed the “key role of the US”. According to him, support in the selection of targets should be used to achieve accuracy and maximum effectiveness of the intervention with limited ammunition stocks. In this practice, the US figures exclusively in the role of advisors, they do not approve any attacks themselves, he pointed out.
A high-ranking Ukrainian official described the information-sharing procedure as the Ukrainian military first identifying the targets it wants to hit, as well as where they are to be located. This data is then forwarded to American partners with a request for more accurate coordinates. If the U.S. does not provide these coordinates, Ukrainian troops will not fire in such a case to avoid wasting precious ammunition.
“Ukrainians are responsible for finding targets, determining their priorities, and then deciding which targets to attack. U.S. targets they do not approve or participate in their selection or involvement,” Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said in response to the newspaper's findings. “We have long acknowledged that we share intelligence with Ukraine to help defend the country against Russian aggression, and over time we have optimized the way we share information to be able to support its requirements and target selection processes with greater speed and scale,” the spokesman added.
The US is considered Ukraine's most important ally in its defense against a Russian invasion. In quick succession, Washington approved military aid packages of various sizes, including heavy weapons such as HIMARS rocket launchers. Kyiv has repeatedly asked the US to supply missiles for HIMARS rocket launchers with an extended range. They claim that they do not intend to use them to hit targets on Russian territory.