Artillery types

Zaluzhnyi’s special adviser says US should supply more lethal artillery munitions to Ukraine

If supplied to Ukraine, the improved dual-use conventional munitions would be a game-changer in the ongoing war with Russia.

That’s according to Dan Rice, special adviser to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who spoke to CNN, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

“I think it’s a political decision, not a military decision. I think the military right now would give them what they need,” Rice told CNN when asked if the United States was going to supply Ukrainian forces with cluster munitions.

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He added that the State Department is “obviously weighing in on that.”

Noting that Ukraine definitely needs ATACMS long-range missiles for HIMARS launchers, Dan Rice pointed out that the Ukrainian military also needs Enhanced Dual-Purpose Conventional Ammunition (DPICM).

He believes the United States is currently giving Ukraine ammunition it would not supply its own troops if they needed to fight Russia in combat.

Asked why the United States should give Ukraine advanced cluster munitions that many believe could harm civilians, Dan Rice explained that Ukrainian forces “obviously were not going to target their own civilians”, firing them only at Russian military targets, and that this is precisely the type of ammunition the United States originally planned to use if ever needed to defend Europe against Russian invasion.

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“It’s a game changer. It’s five to 15 times more lethal,” the special adviser pointed out.

“It’s a moral imperative to give them the deadliest firepower,” Rice said. “Most people don’t realize that this war is a 1,200 mile front, basically stretching from here to New York to Miami.”

“The Ukrainians only have a few hundred artillery tubes, the Russians have thousands, and they are firing all night at the Ukrainian lines. It can’t go on forever, just from a human point of view. They can’t support that,” Dan Rice said.

Note. The DPICM is an artillery shell that splits before the target and drops 88 submunitions on the target in a restricted area. DPICM ammunition has been used by the US military since the 1970s.

The United States is not a party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The countries most threatened by a full-scale Russian conventional invasion have not signed it either, according to Dan Rice. These include Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, as well as Ukraine.