Ukraine needs ‘hundreds’ of ATACMS to turn tide of war, analyst says
An ATACMS launch. Photo: US National Guard

Only a significant number of ATACMS long-range missiles will be able to help Ukraine make a difference on the battlefield as Russia’s full-scale invasion passed the 600th day landmark, a Ukrainian military analyst said.

The United States confirmed on Tuesday it had provided some ATACMS missiles to Ukraine, and Kyiv hinted it had already used the new capabilities to strike two airfields in Russian-held Ukrainian cities, dealing significant damage to Russian aircraft.

Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, posted a video of the use of ATACMS by Ukrainian forces.

Military analyst Petro Chernyk, often cited by the Military Media Centre, a Ukrainian defence ministry communication platform, said on Wednesday that Ukraine had received the M39 type of ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 165 kilometres, which essentially serve as "an incredibly good cluster munition".

"But there is a nuance: How many of these missiles were given to us?" the analyst added. Ukraine received up to 12 ATACMS missiles, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

He said that "a few dozen" ATACMS missiles will not turn the tide of the war, and on;y several hundred—or better, a thousand—could turn the tide on the battlefield.

This includes, for instance, attacks on the Kerch bridge, which connects the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula with Russian territory across the Sea of Azov.

"With high-explosive ammunition, they [Ukrainians] can hit the pillars and then make it impossible to repair them with constant shelling, and then Crimea will be strangled," Mr Chernyk said.