Western artillery surging into Ukraine will reshape war with Russia


The Western artillery flooding into Ukraine will alter the war with Russia, setting off a bloody battle of wits backed by long-range weapons and forcing both sides to grow more nimble if they hope to avoid significant fatalities as fighting intensifies in the east, U.S. officials and military analysts predict.

The expanded artillery battle follows Russia’s failed effort to rapidly seize Ukraine’s major population centers, including the capital, Kyiv. It comes as the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Western benefactors brace for what is expected to be a grinding campaign in the Donbas region. The conflict there is expected to showcase the long-range cannons that are a centerpiece of Russia’s arsenal, weaponry already used to devastating effect in places such as Mariupol, a southern port city that has been pulverized by unrelenting bombardment.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking alongside his Canadian counterpart at the Pentagon on Thursday, said long-range artillery will prove “decisive” in the next phase of the war. The Biden administration, which along with Canada is training small numbers of Ukrainian troops how to operate the dozens of 155 mm howitzers that both countries have pledged to provide, is expected to approve the transfer of even more artillery to Ukraine in the coming days, Austin said.


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