Raytheon FGM-148 Javelin antitank missile systems sold to Ukraine
The U.S. government has confirmed the sale of 37 Javelin anti-tank launchers, and 210 missiles made for those launchers, to the Ukrainian government. This sale targets the ongoing war in the Ukrainian eastern provinces.
US soldier firing the FGM-148 Javelin (photo: US Army)
This war against the Russian-backed separatists started four years ago when Russia annexed (or recuperated, following the point of view) the Crimean peninsula. Russia then repeated its support to the mainly Russian-speaking eastern provinces of Ukraine, and that’s where the Javelins are most urgently needed. “Javelins alone will not enable Kyiv [Kiev] to force Russia out of Crimea and [the eastern city of] Donbas," said Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow at the Center on International Security, in an Atlantic Council release. "But they substantively increase Ukraine’s ability to impose costs on Russian forces.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the United States of “fomenting a war” by approving the $47 million sale. “The Javelins will also likely reanimate among Russian commanders uncomfortable memories of the role that US shoulder-mounted Stinger air-defense missiles played in forcing the Soviet Union’s retreat from Afghanistan in 1989”, Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow at the Center on International Security, said in an Atlantic Council press release. Back then, the military transfer to the Mujahedeen of Afghanistan was conducted clandestinely by the CIA. This sale is considered by Ukraine as a message to Moscow.