Written by Irene Patassini
Recent Ukrainian Armed Forces’ successes in the counteroffensive in the Kharkiv are outstanding. The liberation of Izyum and Kupiansk areas are mounting up to 6,000 km2 of the territory occupied by Russia. Western support, in particular the U.S. and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), have played a significant role in it. However, Putin’s so-called ‘partial mobilisation’ of Russian reservists on the 21st of September will probably mean that Ukraine’s need in the logistic backup might increase in the near future. Therefore, in the same days, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense and ex-Maj. Gen. Volodymyr Havrylov availed himself of the opportunity to incentivise U.S. defence industry in supplying military support to Ukraine at the annual Future Force Capabilities Conference of Austin in Texas (19/09-22/09).
Havrylov proposed an innovative solution that could benefit both Ukrainian Armed Forces and American private companies. The US defence companies have been proposed to test pilot projects such as anti-drone and anti-jamming technology-driven vehicles applicable for the Russia-Ukraine war to increase the credibility and reputation of their products. According to V. Havrylov, this procedure is primed to let the companies’ products get competitive in the market and at the same time incentivise them to provide equipment to Ukrainian forces. Ukraine’s Defence Deputy highlighted that given the successful counter-offensive launched by Kyiv and Russia’s defeat over last weeks, this offer is catching on.
Furthermore, according to the Maj. Gen. seizing the momentum means also boosting the aid towards more ambitious technology. During the conference he explained clearly the need for winter defences as armoured platforms, local maintenance services for equipment and remote training in tactics and technical skills. He also stressed the urgency of Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) which would provide Kyiv the capability to reach targets to 200 km, supplying a strategic edge to Ukraine over Russia. However, the Biden administration is hesitating in providing ATACSM due to their escalation potential, giving Ukraine the possibility to target Russian territory.
To sum up, since Ukraine’s Armed Forces are undergoing a crucial strategic phase they will require further logistics aid delivered by the U.S. apart from the $14.5 billion commitment that the U.S. Defence Ministry has already provided since the beginning of Russia’s invasion. Thus, Havrylov’s proposal might be conceived as a contribution to renovate a balance between Ukraine’s tactical needs and the US’s business interests, providing benefits to both parties.
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