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    First combat use of Javelins by the Ukrainian military. The US considers rearming Kiev

    Major General Kyrylo Budanov, who heads the main intelligence board of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, in an interview with the U.S. Military Times website, reported the first combat use by Ukrainian troops of FGM-148 Javelin fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missiles against pro-Russian separatists in Donbas. Meanwhile, the White House is considering sending military advisers and an arms package to Ukraine that would include anti-tank missiles, including Javelins, mortars, Mi-17 helicopters and Stinger mobile anti-aircraft missiles, US television CNN reports.

    During an interview with the industry portal Military Times, Major General Kyrylo Budanov raised the issue of the dislocation of more than 92,000 Russian troops near the border with Ukraine. The increased military presence of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation may be related to the preparation of an attack on Ukraine, which could take place in late January or early February. According to Budanov, the Russian offensive would begin with airstrikes and artillery fire followed by landing attacks in Odesa and Mariupol and smaller incursions by the Russian military through neighbouring Belarus.



    Budanov said U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence assessments of the timing of the Russian attack are very similar.


    “Our assessments are almost the same as our American colleagues,” said the head of the main intelligence board of Ukraine’s defence ministry.


    According to the head of the intelligence board of Ukraine’s defence ministry, the United States has helped deter the Russian invasion through additional military assistance and increased diplomatic and economic pressure, including imposing more sanctions on Russia and seizing and blocking Russian bank accounts.


    Among the military equipment that the United States has so far decided to transfer to Ukraine are Mark VI patrol boats, AN/TPQ-53 anti-aircraft radars, and Javelin anti-tank guided missiles.  During the conversation, the Major General stated that the Ukrainian troops in Donbas successfully used not only radars to determine the location of artillery and mortar positions of the enemy, but also reached for Javelins.


    The equipment, along with Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2. drones that are used against pro-Russian rebels, have significant psychological deterrent value, Budanov said, making the Russians think twice about attacking, the Ukrainian military officer noted.


    The FGM-148 Javelin is a fire-and-forget (F&F) weapon capable of destroying armoured targets at ranges up to 2.5 km. The kit consists of a command and firing unit (CLU) weighing 6.4 kg and a cumulative projectile along with an ATK tube launcher. Javelin has two modes of attack. In the case of armoured objects such as tanks, the projectile rises into the air and, diving down, strikes the least protected part of the vehicle, which is the turret. While the second mode, in which the missile travels directly to the target in a straight line, is used to destroy unarmored targets.


    Kyiv is currently seeking supplies of missile systems and drone detection systems as well as electronic warfare kits. Also on the wish list of Ukraine are air defence systems such as Patriot and those capable of eliminating artillery and mortar fire. CNN reports the administration at the White House is considering sending military advisers and additional military equipment to Ukraine. This package would consist of deliveries of anti-tank systems, but also mortars and Mi-17 helicopters, as well as Stinger anti-aircraft mobile sets.


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