The US is worried that Ukraine will use Javelin missiles to shoot Russian tanks

The US is worried that Ukraine will use Javelin missiles to shoot Russian tanks 2

Russia has deployed many assets including tanks, artillery and heavy armor to the area near the border with Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula since the end of March, making a question clear for Kiev: Is it time to deploy?

The Ukrainian army received the first batch of Javelin anti-tank missiles from the US in March 2018, including 37 launch tubes and 210 shells worth a total of 47 million USD, marking the first time the US sold lethal weapons to the country.

Ukrainian soldiers carry Javelin missiles during a military parade in Kiev on August 24, 2018.

FGM-148 Javelin is a self-guided shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile that has been in service with the US since 1996, equipped with dual armor-piercing concave warheads (HEAT) to penetrate the roof, flanks and tail of main battle tanks.

The contract to sell Javelin missiles to Ukraine was approved by US President Donald Trump, contrary to the cautious attitude of his predecessor Barack Obama, who was always worried that providing lethal weapons to Kiev would anger Moscow.

However, the US also set many strict conditions, including the requirement that Javelin missiles be stored in western Ukraine, away from the front lines with eastern separatist forces.

Wess Mitchell, former official in charge of European and Asian affairs at the US State Department under Trump, emphasized that the Javelin missiles and other lethal weapons sold by Washington to Kiev were not intended for pre-emptive strikes.

The US government sets many restrictions on storage locations and uses, but there are no barriers to where Javelin missiles can be deployed in combat.

`Javelin is a defensive weapon. The US expects Ukraine to deploy them responsibly and only when absolutely necessary for defensive purposes,` Pentagon spokesman Mike Howard said.

Two unnamed Ukrainian officials said the current situation has not yet reached the threshold of deploying Javelin missiles.

Former US defense officials familiar with the situation said the recent moves of Russian forces are the scenario mentioned by the US in the sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine.

A close adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said discussions on the Javelin missile have not been presented to the government level and no decisions have been made.

The US is worried that Ukraine will use Javelin missiles to shoot Russian tanks

Russian weapons rushed to the border with Ukraine

Russian military convoy in the city of Kerch on the Crimean peninsula on March 27.

Ukrainian officials believe that Russia’s troop movement is not a sign of a cross-border military action.

Experts once said that Javelin missiles did not bring much effect to Kiev.

`If the Russian side does not use armored vehicles, the Javelin missile system will become meaningless. If they really plan to do something, it will most likely be gunmen hiding their identities infiltrating across the border with Ukraine.`

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