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. It’s a move directly aimed at supporting that nation’s war over in its eastern provinces. Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said troops would start training with the shoulder-fired Javelins today.
The question is, will they make any difference in the four-year war against Russian backed separatists?
Don’t Turn the Tide
This war started four years ago when Russia annexed the Crimea, first using separatists as proxies to gain the territory by force. Russia repeated this effort in Ukraine’s eastern areas, 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.”