*The accompanying footage is from a 2018 Ukrainian Javelin missile test launch, and not of the 2021 combat launch.*
The Ukrainian military reportedly used the American-delivered FGM-148 Javelin missile during an actual combat mission in Donbass as Russia continues to amass troops at the Ukrainian border.
Ukraine's military intel chef Brigadier General Kyrylo Budanov announced the use of the Javelins in the same Military Times interview in which he predicted that Russian troops are likely to invade his country in late January or early February 2021.
Hostilities between the Ukrainians and the Russian proxy forces have certainly escalated in recent months. In late October, the Ukrainian military carried out its first-ever TB2 drone strike against pro-Russian separatists, successfully destroying a howitzer artillery piece and inflicting casualties on pro Russian artillerymen.
The use of the armed drones and anti armor missiles has the potential to break the stalemate in favor of Ukraine as the Russian proxy forces currently do not have the technological capability to counter such threats. However, it appears Russia knows this and appears willing to execute a full-on invasion of Ukraine to maintain its grip on annexed and contested portions of Ukraine.
The US government approved the sale of Javelins to Ukraine in 2018. The weapon system has an effective range over 4,000 meters. The system uses a removable, reusable Command Launch Unit (CLU) aiming sight that can also be used as a practical thermal imager for ground troops.
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