Having received HIMARS artillery rocket systems and other long-range weapons, Ukraine has changed its tactics of war against the Russian invaders. “Western weapons are already changing the course of the war, and we haven’t even started yet,” said Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Alexei Danilov.
In Ukraine, U.S. multiple rocket launchers have already destroyed dozens of important enemy depots. The Ukrainian military has carried out more than 10 precise strikes against ammunition depots and other facilities of the Russian forces in their rear in the occupied territories of Ukraine over the past two weeks – since late June. The BBC’s Russian Service reported this data. According to open sources, journalists identified at least 14 cases of such strikes.
The depots and other affected facilities were located between 5 and 75 kilometers from the front line – in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In addition, photos, videos and other evidence of the Ukrainian military circulating on social media indicate that in recent days the Ukrainian army has used these weapons for a number of successful high-precision attacks against Russian logistics targets in the occupied territories in Melitopol, Svatov, Izyum, Perevalsk, Stakhanov, Nova Kakhovka and in a number of other areas. In particular, on July 4, powerful strikes were launched against military depots in Donetsk and Snizhne.
According to Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, HIMARS played an important role in dislodging Russian forces from the strategically important Snake Island in the Black Sea, captured by Russia in the early days of the war.
Previously, Ukrainian forces had also periodically hit Russian military depots and command posts, but usually right at the front lines or as a result of sabotage operations. At the end of June, facilities located far from the front line also began to come under attack, in particular in Snezhne, Shakhtyorsk, Perevalsk, and Kadievka (Stakhanov), which are deep rear areas, territory that the Russian-backed separatists have controlled since 2014.
The destruction of such depots is extremely painful for Russian forces and poses a huge problem for the accumulation of material supplies. The Russians are running out of an arsenal of modern missiles, and the Russian army has no mobile systems identical to the HIMARS in terms of technical characteristics. Increasingly, Russian air force bombers are launching old and inaccurate missiles that miss their targets just as frequently.
Thus, Ukraine is reducing the Russian Federation’s firepower capabilities, because “no shells – no heavy artillery strikes. This significantly reduces the offensive potential of the Russian army.
A new batch of highly mobile HIMARS artillery systems is expected to be delivered to Ukraine, as well as new projectiles for them. It is reported that they can reach 300 km. Overall, the next weeks and months could be a turning point for a change of momentum on the battlefield in Ukraine’s favor, especially if the AFU increases the intensity of strikes against Russian military logistics and ammunition depots.