Biden Sends Advanced Rocket Systems to Ukraine, Raising Specter of Conflict With Russia

President Joe Biden has approved more advanced rocket systems and munitions to Ukraine as allies make another attempt at stopping Russia in its tracks and forcing a ceasefire dialogue between Moscow and Kyiv.

The announcement came on Tuesday even as Russian troops took near total control of the eastern industrial city of Sievierodonetsk, where intense fighting was going on.

11th Weapons Package

The move comes amid increasing concerns that boosting Ukraine's weaponry would eventually drag the US directly into a conflict with Russia. According to Fox News this is the 11th weapons package for Ukraine approved so far by the Biden administration.

The new US weapons shipment to Ukraine include helicopters, tactical vehicles, Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

Significantly, the advanced weapons cache also includes M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. The HIMARS system is well loved by Ukraine's armed forces as they believe it is crucial in countering Russian missile offensive.

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"We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table," Biden said in a op-ed for the New York Times.

Russia Nuclear Drill

"That's why I've decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine," he continued.

Russia countered the US move by announcing nuclear drills in a province northeast of Moscow.

However, Biden made it clear in the article that the weapons are not meant to be used in strikes inside Russia. "These systems will be used by the Ukrainians to repel Russian advances on Ukrainian territory, but they will not be used on targets in Russian territory," a Biden administration official told Reuters.