Ukrainian forces were previously prohibited from using the missiles against Russian or Russian-backed forces barring a full-on enemy offensive.
Ukrainian troops are now allowed to use their new American-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles anywhere in the country and against any party, including against Russian tanks in its eastern Donbass region, as long they do so for purposes of defending themselves. This revelation follows the Ukrainian Army’s disclosure that it is preparing to send Javelin-equipped units to the front lines soon. Ukrainian authorities also recently said that they estimate Russia has at least 481 tanks of various types in Donbass, among other heavy weapons.
CNN’s Ryan Browne Tweeted out about the relatively limited restrictions on how Ukrainian forces can employ the Javelins on July 7, 2020. The Ukrainian Army first received a batch of the missiles, also known as FGM-148s, in 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration delayed the delivery of a second tranche of them until late 2019, which developed into a major scandal and the President’s impeachment. It had been reported in the past that, under the terms of the export agreement with the U.S. government, the Ukrainian Army could only employ these missiles against Russian forces in the event of an overt invasion westward from Donbass. It’s unclear when the current policy took effect.
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WNU Editor: Ukraine President Zelinskiy is pursuing a political settlement, not a military one when it comes to the Donbas. But should everything collapse and an offensive by the Ukraine Army is launched where these missiles are used, the separatists and their Russian allies in the east would only upgrade their own arsenals.