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Ukraine confirms deep strikes into Russia with Western weapons

The head of Kiev’s military intelligence claims Moscow is “already feeling” the attacks

Ukraine is already using Western-supplied weapons for long-range strikes on Russian territory, the head of Kiev’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) confirmed on Wednesday.

Asked by reporters how the use of foreign weapons has changed the situation on the battlefield and how Moscow is planning to respond to these attacks, Kirill Budanov said the Russian forces are “already feeling them.” 

He added that easing of restrictions on the use of Western-made munitions against Russian forces has “definitely made the situation easier” but “no more or less than that.”

The intelligence chief was also asked how Russia might perceive the crossing of a potential “red line.” Budanov argued that no such lines actually exist, claiming they have already been crossed multiple times.

Several of Kiev’s Western backers recently gave Ukraine the green light to use weapons supplied by them to strike targets deep inside Russian territory. The US and other countries claimed the move was needed to stall Moscow’s push into Kharkov Region, which borders on Russia’s Belgorod Region.

Russian forces have recently been making advances near Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, taking over key settlements and inflicting heavy casualties on the Ukrainian military. The cross-border operation, announced in response to Kiev’s repeated attacks on Belgorod, is aimed at creating a buffer zone to prevent further artillery and missile strikes on Russian cities. 

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FILE PHOTO: A Ukrainian military jet takes part in a joint exercise with NATO forces in 2021.
Kiev makes first airstrike on Russian border region – Sky News

Top Ukrainian officials, including Budanov, have admitted that the situation in Kharkov Region is critical, and have ramped up demands for longer-range Western weapons. In late May the Biden administration granted permission to use the munitions on parts of Russia not claimed by Ukraine.

Russia, however, has repeatedly warned against using Western-produced weapons to strike deep into its territory, with President Vladimir Putin warning that such attacks amount to direct Western participation in the conflict and could lead to disastrous consequences.

“If someone deems it possible to supply such weapons to the war zone, to strike our territory… why shouldn’t we supply similar weapons to those regions of the world, where they will be used against sensitive sites of these countries?” the Russian president said last week. “We can respond asymmetrically. We will give it some thought.”

June 13, 2024 at 04:33PM

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