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29 May, 2024 09:20

Ukraine striking targets deep inside Russia with Western weapons – AFP

Some supporters of Kiev are urging arms donors to lift restrictions on where the munitions can be fired
Ukraine striking targets deep inside Russia with Western weapons – AFP

Ukraine has used Western weapons against targets inside what it recognizes as Russian territory on multiple occasions, Agence France Presse (AFP) has claimed.

Some senior Western officials have urged nations that donate longer-range munitions to Ukraine not to ban their use deep inside Russia, while others have publicly objected to the idea. A restriction against such strikes has notably been imposed by the US, the main supplier of arms to Kiev. Washington has said the ban is meant to prevent an escalation of the conflict, and has made no indication that it will be lifted.

On Tuesday, the news agency cited several experts, who believe that donors should not be concerned, because several other Russian red lines have supposedly been crossed without consequence.

”Western weapons have already been used on several occasions against Russia’s territory, most recently against the southern town of Krasnodar, several Western sources said,” the report claimed.

AFP offered no details on those incidents or the weapons involved. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has publicly stated that Ukraine “has the right” to hit targets in Russia with UK-made arms.

Last week, a Ukrainian intelligence source claimed that the country had targeted an early warning radar station based in Russia’s Krasnodar Region on May 22, and later another site in Orenburg Region.

Both locations have roles in nuclear deterrence. Their primary task is to detect an incoming missile and give the military enough time to launch a retaliation before nuclear weapons hit Russian territory.

The claim was given some credence by Dmitry Rogozin, a former senior Russian military official and now a lawmaker. He said it could be false, but if true, it means that Washington “has hired a reckless bandit, who is trying to damage… a key element of our system of strategic nuclear forces combat control.”

According to public statements by the Russian leadership, the country does retaliate when its red lines are crossed in the Ukraine conflict. After Kiev damaged the Crimean Bridge with a truck loaded with explosives in 2022, Moscow added Ukraine’s power grid to its list of military targets.

This year’s campaign of Ukrainian kamikaze drone raids on Russian oil facilities resulted in retaliatory missile strikes against Ukrainian thermal power stations. As of this week, all of them were either destroyed or damaged, according to Yury Boyko, a senior Ukrainian energy official.