New longer-range missiles, given to Ukraine by the UK and US in recent weeks, are forcing Russia to change tactics and are swinging the momentum in Ukraine’s favour, Sky News has been told.
Oleksiy Danilov, the Head of Ukraine’s National Security Council, said Russian soldiers are now in “a desperate state”.
“It was unexpected for them,” he said in an interview in the capital Kyiv.
“Both that and how well, quickly, and with great success these systems work – for Russians this is simply a complete horror.
“You know that they swear a lot when communicating with each other. For Russians, HIMARS is a synonym for the word death. For them, HIMARS is equal to death.
“When HIMARS began to work, communication between Russians became a continuous swearing.”
The new missile systems, known by the American acronym HIMARS and by the British as MLRS, can strike targets up to 50 miles (80km) away with precise accuracy, giving Ukrainian forces greater range than before.
It has enabled them to hit strategic Russian targets deep behind the front lines, in particular ammunition stores and key resupply lines.
Russia forced to rethink tactics
It has forced Russian commanders to rethink.
“They are developing a new tactic – the so-called ‘dispersion’,” Danilov revealed.
“They now do less ammo stacking, etc. But it does not help them.
“They are scared. First, they do not know where the missiles will fly from, they cannot intercept them. They fall into a trance state.”
On Thursday, the UK announced another tranche of the advanced missile systems will be sent to Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in the UK to use the weapons.
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International community ‘remain opposed’ to war
It is part of a package along with 26 other countries who have collectively donated a further €1.5bn (£1.3bn) to buy weapons for Ukraine.
Speaking from the donors’ conference in the Danish capital Copenhagen, the British defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “This latest tranche of military support will enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue to defend against Russian aggression and the indiscriminate use of long-range artillery.
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“Our continued support sends a very clear message, Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion.”
Other equipment such as bullets, anti-radar systems, loiter munitions and medical equipment will be donated by Britain and other European allies.