The US secretly transferred ATACMS to Ukraine: it became known when they could be used

Ukraine has already used long-range ATACMS missiles twice

The United States sent Ukraine long-range ATACMS missiles back in March 2024. Since the beginning of April, the Ukrainian military has already used these weapons twice against targets in the rear of Russian troops.

The information was officially confirmed by US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel at a briefing on Wednesday, April 24. According to him, the decision to do so was made by US President Joe Biden in February.

"Yes, I can confirm that the United States has provided Ukraine with ATACMS long-range missiles by order of the president," he said.

The representative of the US department noted that Washington did not announce the delivery "to ensure the operational security of Ukraine at its request."

Patel clarified that in February, Biden gave an unspoken order to the White House team dealing with national security issues to send ATACMS to the Ukrainian side for use on the sovereign territory of Ukraine.

These are missiles with a range of about 200 miles (300 km). This is twice the range of the intermediate-range missiles that Kyiv received from Washington in October 2023.

At the briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Washington had already sent some ATACMS to Ukraine and would continue to do so after Biden signed the law on additional funding.

"As I said in my opening remarks, we've already sent some [missiles], and now that we have additional authority and funds, we will send more," he said. Sullivan declined to name a specific number of missiles that Washington plans to send.

According to him, the main reason for not providing Ukraine with ATACMS was the US's concerns about its own combat readiness, but they were overcome by ordering a significant batch of these missiles from the manufacturer.

The official said that the decision on ATACMS was made after Russia used ballistic missiles from North Korea against Ukraine and began massive shelling of civilian infrastructure.

AP and Politico, citing sources in the Biden administration, write that the Ukrainian Defense Forces have twice used long-range missiles: On April 17, against a Russian military base in Russian-occupied Crimea, and recently against Russian troops east of occupied Berdiansk in Zaporizhzhia region.

American journalist Natasha Bertrand later wrote on her X social media account that Pentagon spokesman Garron Garn had also officially confirmed this information. According to him, the ATACMS missiles were secretly included in the $300 million aid package for Ukraine, which the White House announced on March 12. As a result, the weapons were delivered to Ukraine in early April.

The AR newspaper noted that it was a "significant number" of ATACMS missiles transferred to Ukraine, but did not give a specific number.

One US official said that the Biden administration warned Russia last year that if Moscow acquired and used long-range ballistic missiles against Ukraine, Washington would provide the same capabilities to Kyiv.

Russia has obtained some of these weapons from North Korea and used them, prompting the White House to give the green light to new long-range missiles.

One of the decisive factors that influenced the March decision to send the weapons was the ability of the US Army to begin replacing the old ATACMS systems. The army is currently procuring Precision Strike Missiles, so it is more convenient to take ATACMS off the shelves and transfer them to Ukraine, the official said.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, after Biden signed the law on assistance to Ukraine, the Pentagon announced the contents of a new arms package for the Ukrainian army. It includes air defense systems, artillery shells, armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons, and ATACMS missiles.

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