Ukraine’s defense minister has appealed to global arms manufacturers to provide their new advanced weapons to the Ukrainian military for ‘testing’ them on the actual battlefield against Russia.
“Ukraine is now essentially a testing ground,” Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, said on July 19 during an event hosted by Atlantic Council. “Many weapons are now getting tested in the field in the real conditions of the battle against the Russian army, which has plenty of modern systems of its own.”
“We are inviting arms manufacturers to test their new products here,” Reznikov continued.
Reznikov highlighted the effective use of the HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) by the Ukrainian forces against the Russian military.
So far, Ukraine has received eight HIMARS units, with four more expected to arrive in the country by the end of July.
“These systems (HIMARS) allowed us to destroy approximately 30 command stations and ammunition storage when we started using only 8 HIMAR systems, and we will have more as I know. And this has significantly slowed down the Russian advance and dramatically decreased the intensity of their artillery shelling,” said Reznikov.
“We are using HIMARS systems precisely, like a surgeon’s scalpel,” he explained, “We will not use the Russian’ meat grinder’ strategy.”
100 HIMARS- A Game Changer In The Battlefield
The effectiveness of HIMARS on the battlefield has made some pro-Kremlin figures so nervous that they have publicly voiced their concerns, as reported recently by EurAsian Times.
Illia Ponomarenko, a journalist with the Kyiv Independent, cited a Russian military bogger Andrey Morozov, also known as ‘Murz,’ as saying that Russian troops were facing growing “munitions hunger,” as the number of 122 and 152-millimeter rounds were depleting due to recent Ukrainian attacks.
When asked how many HIMARS systems Ukraine requires, Reznikov said that at least 15 systems are needed to effectively hold back the enemy, considering the frontline is 2,500 kilometers long.
He further noted that around 100 HIMARS systems would enable the Ukrainian forces to mount “an effective counter-offensive,” making HIMARS “a game-changer in the battlefield.”
The range of the HIMARS rockets currently being used by Ukraine is limited up to 80 kilometers, as the US has not provided more advanced munitions with ranges between 140 and 300 kilometers for fear of escalation by Moscow, as these munitions would enable Ukrainian forces to strike targets inside the Russian territory.
However, Reznikov urged Washington to provide long-range HIMARS munitions, saying, “Long-range systems would allow us (Ukraine) to completely destroy their logistics and rapidly cut off the Russian army from their support.”
“Give Us The Tools, We Will Finish The Job, You Will Have The New Information”
He also noted that Ukraine shares information about advanced Russian equipment such as electronic warfare systems, signals intelligence, air defense systems, and missile technology with its international allies.
“We are sharing all the information and experience with our partners,” Reznikov said. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy.”
He also noted that several new military systems, such as the Polish-made 155mm KRAB artillery system, have first seen combat on the Ukrainian battlefield.
“So I think for our partners in Poland, in the United States, in France, in Germany, in Turkey, it’s a good chance to test the equipment, Reznikov added. “Give us the tools, we will finish the job, and you will have the new information,” he added.
Reznikov also stressed the importance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the ongoing conflict with Russia. He explained that only artillery is not enough; UAVs are also needed for reconnaissance and to ensure precision strikes against the enemy.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced Reznikov’s remarks, saying that Kyiv’s willingness to test Western weapons in Ukraine exposes plans to kill Ukrainians.
“Those who pose as Ukrainian patriots fighting for the country’s future have come up with the idea of asking (the West) to send everything that needs testing to Ukraine so it can be tested during the armed conflict. But they forgot to say that it will be tested on Ukrainians,” Maria told the Soloviev Live TV channel on July 20.
“The destruction of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people is at the core of the Kyiv regime’s policy, no matter the slogans,” she continued.