HIMARS ‘Game Changer’ in Ukraine war, Russia ‘in disastrous shape’: ex-general

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Retired US Army General Mark Hertling said on Saturday that the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) given to Ukraine to help it in its fight against Russia are “game changers”, claiming that Moscow’s forces are now “in a terrible state”.

The White House announced on Friday that $270 million in additional security aid would be sent to Ukraine, including four additional HIMARS. Rocket systems were seen as crucial in helping Kyiv forces push back the army from Moscow.

The announcement by the Biden administration came after a senior US defense official told reporters on Friday that Ukraine had used HIMARS to eliminate more than 100 “high-value” targets. These strikes effectively destroyed ammunition depots, long-range artillery positions, command posts, air defense sites and radar and communications nodes, the official said.

“As for HIMARS – with fewer rounds, greater range, pinpoint accuracy – this is a game-changer,” Hertling tweeted Saturday in a lengthy thread, providing analysis of the war. The retired general previously served as commander of U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army.

“Russia is in a terrible state and is losing, Ukraine is adapting to the fight and winning,” he said.

Earlier Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shared his appreciation for the new US-sent HIMARS

“Thank you @POTUS [Biden] for the new defense aid package for Ukraine. Powerful and crucial weapons will save the lives of our soldiers, accelerate the liberation of our land from the Russian aggressor. I appreciate the strategic friendship between our nations. Together towards victory!” Zelensky wrote on Twitter several hours after the White House announcement.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis touted the delivery of HIMARS to Ukraine as successful pressure on Russia, leading to a diplomatic breakthrough regarding the port of Odessa, Ukraine.

“The deal to unblock Odessa would have been impossible without HIMARS. It is now very clear that the war will end sooner if we arm Ukraine faster,” Landsbergis tweeted on Friday.

The United States has provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in military and humanitarian aid as it defends itself against aggression from Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the internationally condemned war five months ago on February 24, bizarrely claiming that the Kyiv government is run by Nazis. In reality, Zelensky is Jewish and members of his family were killed in the Holocaust genocide perpetrated by the German Nazis during World War II.

Retired US Army General Mark Hertling called the HIMARS used by Ukraine against Russia a “game changer” in a tweet on Saturday. Above, HIMARS launchers fire salvos during the “African Lion” military exercise in the Grier Labouihi region in southeastern Morocco on June 9, 2021.
FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

On Wednesday, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that Ukraine’s use of HIMARS was “degrading” Russia’s capabilities.

“These strikes routinely degrade Russia’s ability to supply its troops, command and control its forces, and wage its unlawful war of aggression,” he said.

Russia claimed on Friday that it had destroyed four HIMARS this month that were used by Ukraine. However, US and Ukrainian officials disputed this information.

Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comments.

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