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ATACMS have significant impact on the battlefield, Ukraine’s Defense Minister says

Rustem Umerov and Lloyd Austin discussed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in a phone call.
Umerov and Austin
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov (L) and US Secretary of Defens Lloyd J. Austin III (R). Credit: Facebook/Rustem Umerov
ATACMS have significant impact on the battlefield, Ukraine’s Defense Minister says

In a phone call, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov thanked US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for providing Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles.

According to the Ukrainian Defense Minister, American-made long-range ATACMS missiles boost Ukrainian defensive capabilities.

“I had a substantive call with the Secretary of Defense. Updated my American colleague on the battlefield situation. Thanked the US leadership and Secretary Austin himself for providing ATACMS to Ukraine. This is having a major impact on the battlefield,” Rustem Umerov wrote on Twitter (X) following a phone conversation with Lloyd Austin on 21 October.

On 17 October, Ukraine used US-provided ATACMS long-range missiles to strike Russian-controlled helicopter airfields in the occupied cities of Luhansk and Berdiansk. It was the first time Ukraine’s Armed Forces used ATACMS missiles. In a nightly address that day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that ATACMS “have proven themselves.”

Luhansk is Ukraine’s easternmost regional capital, occupied by Russia since 2014. Berdiansk is a southern port city in Zaporizhzhia Oblast that Russian forces occupied at the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

ATACMS missiles pose a serious threat to the Russian army in the occupied territories of Ukraine and will force Russian military command to adapt to new Ukrainian strike capabilities, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). 

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