Russia could be set for a new series of setbacks from next week as Ukraine is now expected to receive new “game-changing” munitions from Washington, a former US Army officer forecast.
Dan Rice advised Ukrainian commander-in-chief General Valery Zaluzhnyi on which weapons to request to the US Government following the Russian invasion in February 2022.
Rice suggested Washington could green-light the delivery of longer-range cluster munition rockets to Ukraine as early as “next week” – putting a considerable obstacle on Vladimir Putin’s path to victory.
Kyiv could pair the new rockets with US-made M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and other platforms the Biden Administration has sent the Zelensky Government over the past year and a half.
Rice suggested the approval for DPICM rockets appears imminent as the Department of Defense signaled it’s ready to lift its block on giving Kyiv the long-range MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System—known as the ATACMS.
The ATACMS and the new munition could provide Ukraine the unprecedented chance to target Russian troops, military munition depots and sensitive infrastructure while reducing the risk of their own positions being attacked.
“Approval is likely this week on HIMARS cluster rockets,” Rice told Newsweek after talks with “the American decision makers and the Americans who have to implement getting them to Ukraine.”
He insisted securing there DPICM munitions will be a “game-changer” for Ukraine as its forces continue to push eastwards in their bid to oust the Russian occupier.
Rice added: “Getting approval this week for HIMARS DPICM will be a game changer.
“And with no training and change needed, it will likely be on the battlefield next week, making a huge difference. When those rockets launch, they break the sound barrier. To me, that’s the sound of freedom.”
Washington had previously been reluctant to provide Kyiv with longer-range missiles fearing its defense forces could use the weapons to hit deep into Russian territory and enrage Moscow.
The ATACMS could give Ukraine the ability to strike Russian targets from as far away as about 180 miles (300 kilometers), but the US also has other variants of the missile that have a shorter range.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that the 31 M1 Abrams tanks promised months ago will soon begin arriving in Ukraine, as expected.
A defense official said they have arrived in Europe and will begin crossing the border into Ukraine within the coming days.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the precise location of the tanks is sensitive.
Follow our social media accounts here on facebook.com/ExpressUSNews and @expressusnews