KIEV, December 22. /TASS/. The Ukrainian armed forces live-fired US Javelin anti-tank missile systems in the area of their military operation in Donbass, Ukraine’s Dom TV Channel reported on Wednesday.
According to information from the TV broadcaster, the Ukrainian army currently operates almost 100 Javelin launchers and around 500 anti-tank missiles. These systems were employed in the Donbass region for the first time, said the TV Channel that broadcasts on the territory outside Kiev’s control.
The live firings were held at a proving ground in the Donetsk Region and not in combat conditions, the TV broadcaster specified.
"All the teams handling these weapons have undergone training and are ready to accomplish combat tasks," the TV Channel quoted Commander of the Ukrainian Joint Force Operation in Donbass Alexander Pavlyuk as saying.
The United States has allocated $2.5 billion to Ukraine in support of its armed forces since 2014, including over $400 million this year. Washington supplies armaments to Kiev and sends instructors to train the Ukrainian army. Ukraine received $350 million in US military aid both in 2017 and 2018, $250 million in 2019 and $300 million in 2020. The country began receiving Javelin anti-tank missiles systems after the administration of former US President Donald Trump approved the sale of lethal weapons to Kiev.
In particular, the United States delivered 30 Javelin systems and 180 anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in October. As Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said, the United States hopes that Ukraine will use these systems responsibly and solely for self-defense.
Commander of the Ukrainian Joint Force Operation in Donbass Pavlyuk said in early December that the Ukrainian army was regularly employing Turkish Bayraktar strike drones on the territory under Kiev’s control and was ready to use Javelin anti-tank missile systems, if necessary.
Ukrainian Army Commander-in-Chief Valery Zalyuzhny said in late November that the military practiced a new tactic of employing Javelins and Bayraktars at the Shiroky Lan proving ground in the Nikolayev Region. The US media outlet Military Times reported in November, citing Chief of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Department Major-General Kirill Budanov, that the Ukrainian army had already employed US-supplied Javelin anti-tank missile systems against the fighters of the Donbass republics.