News from Ukraine: Putin battles ‘havoc’ with ‘terrifying’ HIMARS to turn the tide | World | New

The US on Monday announced a new $1bn (£800m) military aid package to Ukraine which will include munitions for HIMARS, or High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems . The cornerstone of the White House’s military aid are dozens of HIMARS that have been hailed by Ukraine’s armed forces as weapons to turn the tide of war.

Foreign Policy magazine’s deputy editor, James Palmer, described US-supplied HIMARS as wreaking havoc and “terrifyingly dominant” in the global war.

It comes as Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Moscow had launched a “major new ground force formation”, which the Kremlin is using to swell the decimated ranks of the Russian military.

A US official said earlier this week that Russia had likely suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties in the war in Ukraine so far.

That number of injured and wounded represented a “huge number of casualties,” according to Pentagon Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl.

He said: “There is a lot of fog in the war, but I think it is safe to suggest that the Russians probably had 70 or 80,000 casualties in less than six months.

“Now it’s a combination of killed in action and wounded in action and that number could be a bit lower, a bit higher, but I think it’s a bit in the ballpark.”

To counter such losses, the Ministry of Defense suggested that Putin created the “3rd Army Corps”, or 3 AC, based just outside the Russian capital.

New recruits are attracted by “lucrative cash bonuses”, he added.

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“Russian regional politicians have confirmed that potential 3 AC recruits are offered lucrative cash bonuses once deployed to Ukraine.

“Recruitment is open to men up to the age of 50 and having only a secondary school diploma.”

“A Russian army corps typically consists of 15-20,000 soldiers, but it will likely be difficult for Russia to bring 3 CA to this strength, given the very limited levels of popular enthusiasm for volunteering in combat. in Ukraine.

“The effect of 3 AC is unlikely to be decisive for the campaign.”

Overnight, explosions were reported at a Russian air base in Saky near Novofedorivka in annexed Crimea, killing one person, according to the head of the Russian-controlled regional administration, Sergei Aksyonov.

But Russia insists the explosions were due to the detonation of munitions, not an attack on the facility.

Ukraine said it did not claim responsibility for the explosions.

Without referring to the news, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his Tuesday evening speech that the war “began with Crimea and must end with Crimea – with its liberation.”

He added that “Crimea is Ukrainian and we will never give it up.”

Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014, with Russian-installed authorities holding a referendum on incorporation into Russian territory widely recognized as illegitimate.

Christi C. Elwood