The recent decision by the United States to authorize Ukraine's use of Western weaponry on Russian soil has rapidly changed the course of the war.

According to Ukrainian military sources cited by the Associated Press, the approval granted in late May allowed Ukrainian brigades to deploy HIMARS missile systems within hours.

During that period, the Ukrainian military faced significant pressure as they anticipated another assault on the Kharkiv region aimed at diverting resources away from the battles in the Donetsk region.

According to First Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk, as reported by The Associated Press, over 90,000 Russian troops positioned well inside Russian territory were preparing for a fresh assault.

The deployment of HIMARS missiles enabled Ukrainian forces to immediately target and disrupt Russian troop movements and firing positions along the border.


“The HIMARS were not silent for the whole day,” an artillery commander in the Kharkiv region who goes by his callsign Hefastus said, recalling the first hours when permission was granted to use the rocket systems.

“From the first days, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy whole columns of troops along the border waiting for the order to enter Ukraine.”

“Before, we couldn’t target them. It was quite complicated. All warehouses with ammunition and other resources were located a 20-kilometre distance beyond what we could hit,” he said.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 12 July 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 12 July 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

With the HIMARS system in play, Ukrainian forces quickly stabilized their positions in the Kharkiv region, thwarting potential Russian incursions.

Still, Ukrainian authorities are frustrated by restrictions limiting strikes to within 100 kilometres of the border despite the significant escalation in US support for Ukraine.

This limitation has impeded Ukrainian efforts to target key Russian air bases, from which bombing operations are launched.

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