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New U.S. military aid package, how Ukraine is deterring Russian troops in Toretsk direction. Serhiy Zgurets' column

5 July, 2024 Friday
12:20

The U.S. announces a $2.3 billion military aid package for Ukraine. It includes weapons from US reserves and funding for Patriot and NASAMS air defense missiles

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The U.S. announces a new $2 billion military aid package for Ukraine

The details of the US military aid package were announced, amounting to approximately $2.3 billion. This new tranche is divided into two parts. The first part is allocated for the immediate transfer of certain types of weapons from US stockpiles, while the second part will be used primarily to purchase missiles for the Patriot and NASAMS air defense systems. According to calculations by the Defense Express agency, the costs of missiles for the Patriot systems are quite significant. The Patriot systems use two types of missiles: GEM-T and MSE, each costing over $5-6 million per unit. With a production rate of about 500 units per year, $2 billion would be sufficient for approximately 400 missiles if these funds are dedicated solely to air defense system purchases.

In addition, it should be emphasized that today Ukraine has a priority over other countries in the supply of missiles for air defense systems. It is now very important that Ukraine has received a significant number of missiles for air defense systems. Because it is not only the number of batteries of air defense systems that is of great importance, but above all a sufficient number of missiles. We understand that weapons are being delivered, but at the same time, we are forming new brigades that need to be reinforced with new weapons.

New brigades in Ukrainian Armed Forces need more weapons to deter Russian troops

In May, the commander of the Ukrainian Land Forces, Oleksandr Pavliuk, said that 10 new brigades were being formed in Ukraine to repel the Russian offensive. Each brigade can have a staff of 2,000 to 8,000 personnel. Ukraine is also forming the Ranger Corps, which should include special forces regiments that will be equipped with special weapons. A new type of unit is also being formed in Ukraine - an engineer assault brigade, which was also announced earlier. The mobilization in Ukraine is quite effective and we have a sufficient number of personnel, but the only issue is the weapons for these new brigades.

Yesterday, Bloomberg published an interview with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he emphasized the need for armaments. According to him, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have the brigades, but the problem is the means. The president also emphasized that there is no point in talking about counteroffensive actions yet, as the main task for the Ukrainian Defense Forces today is to protect the territories controlled by Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine would launch a counteroffensive when it receives a sufficient number of weapons. So, today, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold back the Russian forces in many areas. Russian troops are trying to take advantage of the temporary advantage in manpower and equipment. In several areas, the situation remains quite difficult.

Situation in the Toretsk direction remains difficult

Stanislav, a soldier with the 95th separate airborne assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that the situation in the Toretsk direction is quite difficult. Russian troops have been conducting intense assault operations for more than a week. The Russians are moving in large infantry groups without using any equipment. They realize that the equipment will be immediately destroyed by Ukrainian artillery. They keep trying to break through to the city of Toretsk. Stanislav noted that only the resilience of the personnel and the professionalism of the commanders allows to restrain Russian forces in the Toretsk direction. He also noted that Russia has a numerical advantage in personnel, artillery and air superiority.

According to Stanislav, Russian troops are attacking constantly and around the clock. He noted that all the fighting in the Toretsk direction resembles a continuous assault, with Russian forces leveraging their advantage in personnel to advance from all directions. With their high losses, this indicates that Russian troops have accumulated considerable reserves in the Toretsk direction. Stanislav also mentioned that Russian troops have concentrated the military-industrial complex they had created earlier in the Toretsk direction. According to intelligence, a large number of forcibly mobilized Ukrainian citizens from the temporarily occupied territories, particularly from Donetsk, are being used as cannon fodder.

                                                                                             Map of hostilities near Toretsk as of July 4

Stanislav said that the contact line is already passing through the urban development of Toretsk, particularly in the area of Shumy, where active fighting continues. According to Stanislav, Russia will not be able to advance deeper into the city of Toretsk. Currently, Russian forces are stuck in the defense of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and have not been advancing for several days. They are not expected to make any positive progress along the front line today. Ukrainian Armed Forces units continue to hold back the Russian forces with artillery and FPV drones.

Artillery and UAVs reduce the vulnerability of infantry during Russian assaults

Stanislav, a soldier with the 95th separate airborne assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that the brigade's units always perform tasks in the hottest areas of the front. He noted that the brigade's UAV operators always have a lot of work to do in every direction and are actively working. The brigade has many UAV operator teams. Stanislav noted that they work very efficiently. In particular, this is evidenced by the number of destroyed personnel and equipment.

According to Stanislav, a sufficient number of drones and ammunition will create conditions to save more lives of infantrymen and reduce the risk of the Russian troops breaking through the Ukrainian defense. He noted that such a model of combat operations depends only on the number of UAVs and ammunition and would keep the occupiers away from the Ukrainian infantry.

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