Britain ALREADY beat you to the punch, Joe! Republicans urge Biden to match the UK and send game-changing long range missiles to Ukraine ‘as soon as possible’ – in time for Kyiv’s new counteroffensive
- Britain will provide much-needed long-range weapons to Ukraine
- Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell told Biden to ‘move quickly’ on stumping up more military aid
- Kyiv is plotting its latest counter-offensive against the Russian invaders
Joe Biden is facing calls from Republicans to send long-range missiles to Ukraine after Britain pledged game-changing weapons to help Kyiv’s counter-offensive.
The British government said on Thursday that it would send Storm Shadow missiles to the Ukrainian armed forces so they could boot out the Russian invaders.
Ukrainian officials have been requesting more advanced weaponry for months as they look to seize back control of Russian-occupied areas of their country.
The Biden administration has repeatedly refused to send the US military’s powerful Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, for fear of provoking Vladimir Putin.
The U.S. military’s ATACMS, a long-range surface-to-surface missile unit, is used by a number of allies including South Korea.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell urged the president to match Britain’s promise of long-range missiles, saying Biden should ‘move quickly’ on the matter
Senior officials told Politico in February Ukraine might use the 190-mile range missiles to attack deep inside Russia’s internationally-recognized borders.
They also said the U.S. did not possess sufficient stocks of the missiles to grant the request.
Senior Republicans praised Britain for breaking from the White House policy on weapons supplies, urging Joe Biden to follow suit.
Michael McCaul, a Congressman from Texas who chairs the House Foreign Affairs committee, called Biden’s refusal to send the missiles ‘unjustifiable’.
‘This administration’s misguided fear of escalation in providing critical weapon systems, from Stingers to HIMARS to Abrams tanks, have not only been proven wrong each time, but also prolonged the war, emboldened Vladimir Putin, and cost Ukrainian lives,’ McCaul said.
His comments came in a joint statement with New Jersey Congressman Tom Kean, Jr, who chairs a subcommittee on European affairs.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said ‘the U.K. has helped lead the way in standing up to Russian aggression since even before Putin’s escalation in 2022.’
‘I hope President Biden will move quickly to provide critical capabilities like cluster munitions and longer-range rockets to help Ukraine defend its sovereign territory,’ the Kentucky lawmaker said.
Senator Jim Risch, a Republican representing Idaho, accused Joe Biden of pandering to the Kremlin.
‘I applaud the UK for again stepping forward to provide the courage & leadership the Biden administration will not,’ he said. ‘We should send ATACMS to Ukraine as soon as possible.’
Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko echoed the calls for the president to provide more military support to the country’s armed forces.
‘The Biden administration should have donated F16 (fighter) jets along with such long-range missiles long ago,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘Politically conservative and wishing thinking led to the escalation of this war, which Russia started against Ukraine in 2014,’ the former lawyer added.
Brett Bruen, who served in the Obama White House from 2013 to 2015, said providing long-range missiles ‘makes perfect sense to any rational actor.’
‘The Biden administration is trying to portray this as some example of restraint because of an unjustified view that this is going escalate the situation,’ the former foreign policy adviser to the ex-commander-in-chief said.
Britain’s Storm Shadow cruise missiles that is sending to the war-torn nation have a range of over 155 miles.
By contrast, the US-supplied Himars missiles used by Ukraine only have a range of 50 miles.
General John Allen, who led U.S. and NATO forces in the Afghanistan war, said the US should consider matching Britain’s donation of long-range missiles.
”ATACMS leaves the Russians no where to hide anywhere in Ukraine,’ the retired four-star general told DailyMail.com ‘It potentially forces their command and control back into Russia.’
But the White House earlier on Thursday ruled that move out despite the decision from Britain.
‘Our policy on ATACMS has not changed,’ a NSC spokesman told the Daily Mail.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the UK parliament that ‘we will simply not stand by as Russia kills civilians.’
‘Russia must recognize that its actions alone have led to such systems being provided to Ukraine,’ he said.
A graphic showing how the Storm Shadow Missiles would work on the battlefield
The Storm Shadow missile has been operated by both British and French air forces and has been used previously in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya.
The British-supplied missiles can only be fired by aircraft, but French missiles can be fired from ships and submarines.
But the United States is the biggest backer of Ukraine when it comes to military support, spending nearly $37 billion on sending arms since the invasion began.
The UK is the second largest donor, sending $2.8 billion last year and vowing to match it in 2023.
Kyiv’s armed forces are set to launch a new counterstrike after Russia’s latest botched attempt to seize significant amount of Ukrainian territory.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s propagandist-in-chief, said the Kremlin’s viewed London’s decision to send long-range missiles to Ukraine ‘quite negatively.’
In a thinly-veiled warning to Britain, the Russian tyrant’s long-serving press secretary said it would ‘demand an appropriate response from our military.’
Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, has been the main target of the Russian invaders over the winter months.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s Wagner private army, has led much of the fighting there.
Wagner mercenaries have largely been recruited from high-security Russian prisons and they have been filmed committing war crimes including grisly executions.
A once secretive figure, Prigozhin has released a slew of obscenity-filled tirades, complaining of Russia’s failure to support his forces, over the past few weeks.
In his latest audio message he said the situation in Bakhmut was the ‘worst of all expected scenarios’ with territory captured over months being “thrown away”.
On Tuesday, Prigozhin said a Russian brigade had fled from the trenches, giving up a swathe of land southwest of Bakhmut.
The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces said on Wednesday Russian forces had retreated in places by as much as more than 1.5 miles.
Ukraine has boasted of few similar advances since its last big offensive last November.
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