Ukraine uses ATACMS missiles on battlefield for first time
On Tuesday, October 17, Ukraine employed American long-range ATACMS missiles against Russian troops for the first time. These missiles had been covertly supplied by the United States just a few days prior
The WSJ notes that Ukraine has long been asking for ATACMS, a surface-to-surface missile that can strike far behind Russian lines and can be launched using HIMARS that the United States has provided to the country.
"The delivery and use on the battlefield, confirmed by two people familiar with the move, marks a major ramp up of the administration’s defense of Ukraine, for the first time providing Kyiv’s forces with the ability to strike Russian targets far behind the front lines," Politico writes.
At the same time, according to CNN sources, in recent weeks, the United States decided to send ATACMS "quietly" because it wanted to take Russia by surprise.
“The Russians are aware of the range of the missiles and the US was concerned they would move equipment and weapons out of reach before the missiles could be used," the text says.
The article specifies that the range of the provided ATACMS models is about 100 miles (160 km).
Ukraine's strike on airfields in Luhansk and Berdyansk
On the night of October 17, Ukrainian defenders attacked Russian ammunition depot, helicopters and airfields near the Russian-occupied cities of Luhansk and Berdyansk.
The Special Operations Forces called this operation DRAGONFLY. They received information about the enemy's use of airfields in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk and Luhansk, as well as the presence of a significant number of aircraft, special equipment and ammunition.
As a result, Russian forces suffered significant losses. In particular, Ukrainian defenders destroyed 9 helicopters of various modifications, special equipment, an air defense launcher and an ammunition depot. The runways of the airfields were also damaged.
Also, on October 17, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief's Staff to discuss the Ukrainian Armed Forces' progress at the front.
"I am also grateful to those who are destroying the logistics and bases of the occupiers on our land. There are results. I thank some of our partners: effective weapons, as we agreed," Zelenskyy said.