“They are cracking like nuts,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 4 in an interview with the Rossiya 1 TV channel while speaking about foreign arms supplies for Ukrainian formations and how successfully the Russian army neutralizes enemy drones.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on June 4, 17 drones were destroyed in the last 24 hours alone. “Including in the Kamenka region of the Nikolaev region, Russian air defense systems shot down two Bayraktar-TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles,” the military department said. In addition, an aircraft of the military transport aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force, which was delivering weapons and ammunition, was shot down near Odesa, the Defense Ministry added.
“High-precision air-launched missiles struck at the artillery training centre of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the settlement of Stetskovka, Sumy region. There, the arrived foreign instructors carried out practical training for Ukrainian servicemen in the operation and fire control of 155-millimetre M777 howitzers,” said the Russian Ministry of Defense official representative, Major General Igor Konashenkov.
US weapons in Ukraine
The missiles sent by the US to Ukraine are “exactly what they need to resist Russian aggression”. These weapons explained Deputy National Security Advisor John Finer, “will allow Ukrainians to hit Russian targets on the battlefield accurately.” “We think this corresponds to their needs,” Finer said, speaking of the Himars missile system launches up to 80 kilometres.
Russia warns that the supply of long-range US rocket launchers to Ukraine could provoke a widening of the war. “Such a risk (of involvement of third countries) certainly exists, warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. What the Kyiv regime is asking so categorically from its Western godparents above all goes beyond all limits of decency and diplomatic communication. Second, he added that it is a direct provocation aimed at involving the WestWest in military action.
Kyiv says it has lost a fifth of its territory to the Russians since the beginning of special operations. The US and its Western allies have supplied to Ukraine, which they term ‘defensive weapons’, but the definition is loosely used to denote weapons forbidden for Ukraine to use in the Russian territory.
However, these weapons are either obsolete or are stripped down to the basic version so that the advanced features do not fall into the hands of the Russians.
In wrong hands
The Pentagon has previously said that it cannot track the weapons transferred to the Ukrainian army. The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who passed the statement following a visit to Kyiv, referred primarily to Stinger portable anti-aircraft systems (as they can shoot down aircraft) and Javelin anti-tank systems.
“As you know, we do not have a military contingent in Ukraine, so tracking down American weapons entering Ukraine is quite difficult. But the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defense assured us that these deliveries and further distribution of weapons are carefully monitored; in Ukraine, they are carefully watching to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. But you understand that anything can happen. If, for example, the battle is lost, it is very difficult to ensure the safety of weapons,” said Austin.
In the past, Ukraine has been accused of illegal weapons sales to ISIS, North Korea, Iraq and South Sudan.
The Russians say they do not allow foreign weapons from Ukraine to scatter around the world and replenish the black market. All foreign weapons that the West delivers to Kyiv, one way or another, become ‘legitimate targets’ for Russian artillery and aviation.
Supplying arms to a corrupt regime in Ukraine
There are concerns in the US about supplying weapons and aid to corrupt countries like Ukraine and in past Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the US spent more than $900 billion without results, as per the government data. Ukraine is the second most corrupt country in Europe, and there are fears that these might be pilfered.
In May, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul blocked the quick passage of a bill to allocate an additional package of additional assistance to Ukraine in the amount of about $40 billion. There were queries on the accountability of the money along with the fact the money had to be borrowed from China.
No change in the balance of power
The supply of western weapons has not changed the balance of power in the region, and Russia continues to operate its older arms and ammunition to strike Ukraine with a lot of success. The supply of old models of HIMARS is also not about to change the situation either.