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Putin reeling as new map reveals Russian targets in range of Ukraine's 'secret weapon'


A new map has revealed the Russian military bases in a range of devastating missile strikes from Ukraine as they could unleash a new weapon that, until recently, has been kept a secret.

Ukraine could target roughly 16 percent of Russia’s bases with US-supplied Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) that were previously kept under wraps. The other 84 percent would remain protected by a US policy preventing strikes.

The think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) released the map detailing dozens of targets across Russia that are now susceptible to Ukrainian attack following a change in how they are allowed to use the missiles.

It said in its report: “The West maintains the ability to substantially disrupt Russian operations at scale by allowing Ukraine to use Western-provided weapons to strike Russia’s operational rear and deep rear areas in Russian territory.”

The new ATACMS have a maximum range of 186 miles, over four times the range of the previous ones supplied in October.

In April, Ukraine used US-supplied ballistic missiles for the first time to bomb a Russian military airfield in Crimea. US officials confirmed the strike at the time, which was allowed due to new rules set by the Biden administration.

Previously, Ukraine could not use the US’s weapons to strike targets in Russian territory, as this was grounds to withhold future aid, but Joe Biden revoked this rule earlier this year.

Ukrainian forces are now allowed to unleash the ATACMS on certain portions of Russian territory, putting 16 percent of its bases at risk, including Bryansk Oblast, Kursk Oblast and Belgorod Oblast.

The ISW added: “ISW continues to assess that the US should allow Ukraine to strike all military targets in Russia’s operational and deep rear areas with US-provided weapons.”

It is currently unclear as to whether Ukraine has permission to carry out these strikes but ISW also claimed that they would be able to destroy Russian air defences that would otherwise reduce the effectiveness of Ukrainian F-16 fighter jets.

The transfer of ATACMS from the US to Ukraine was kept a secret until the Pentagon confirmed their use, but still did not disclose how many were sent in the $1 billion (£789 million) aid package.

Information about the delivery was kept so quiet that lawmakers and others demanded that the US send the weapons – not knowing they were already in Ukraine.

For months, the US resisted sending Ukraine the long-range missiles out of concern that Kyiv could use them to hit deep into Russian territory, enraging Moscow and escalating the conflict.

Admiral Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Associated Press: “I think the time is right, and the boss made the decision the time is right to provide these based on where the fight is right now.

“I think it was a very well-considered decision, and we really wrung it out – but again, any time you introduce a new system, any change – into a battlefield, you have to think through the escalatory nature of it.”

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