HIMARS ‘Game Changer’ in Ukraine War, Russia ‘in Dire Shape’: Ex-General

HIMARS ‘Game Changer’ in Ukraine War, Russia ‘in Dire Shape’: Ex-General

Retired US Army Gen. Mark Hertling said Saturday that the Highly Mobility Artillery Missile Systems (HIMARS) given to Ukraine to help in its fight against Russia are a “game changer,” considering that Moscow’s forces are now “in tatters.”

The White House announced Friday that an additional $270 million in security assistance will be sent to Ukraine, including four additional HIMARS. The missile systems are seen as essential to helping Kyiv’s forces fend off Moscow’s army.

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

“For HIMARS—with fewer rounds, greater range, and accuracy—it’s a game-changer,” Hertling tweeted in the longline Saturday, offering analysis on the war. The retired general had previously served as commander of the US Army in Europe and the Seventh Army.

He emphasized that “Russia is in dire straits and is losing, and Ukraine is adapting to fighting and winning.”

Earlier on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his appreciation for the new HIMARS system sent by the United States.

Thank you, POTUS [Biden] for the new defense aid package for Ukraine. Powerful weapons of decisive importance will save the lives of our soldiers and hasten the liberation of our land from the Russian aggressor. I appreciate the strategic friendship between our two countries. Together to achieve victory! Zelensky wrote on Twitter several hours after the White House announcement.

The Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, described the delivery of HIMARS to Ukraine as successful pressure on Russia, resulting in a diplomatic breakthrough regarding the port in Odessa, Ukraine.

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

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

Retired US Army Gen. Mark Hertling called the HIMARS system used by Ukraine against Russia a “game-changer” in a tweet on Saturday. Above, HIMARS launchers and gunfire during the “African Lion” military exercise in the Jarir al-Labouhi region of southeastern Morocco on June 9, 2021.
FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on Wednesday that Ukraine’s use of HIMARS “weakens” Russia’s capabilities.

“These strikes are steadily undermining Russia’s ability to supply its forces, command and control its forces, and carry out its illegal war of aggression,” he said.

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

Newsweek I have reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

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