Friday, June 21, 2024

Ukraine calls on US to help locate targets in Russia

Kiev has urged Washington to provide intelligence on targets on Russian soil, as the Ukrainian Armed Forces lose ground on the battlefield, the Wall Street Journal has reported, saying US administration officials have begun to review the request.

In addition, members of Ukraine’s parliament have approached lawmakers in Washington, requesting the green light to use US-provided weapons in strikes on Russia, the paper wrote, citing US and Ukrainian officials.

The Russian offensive in Kharkov Region was facilitated by the US restrictions, which are “handcuffing the Ukrainian war effort,” Kiev’s delegation told Congress, according to news website Politico.

Despite such requests being turned down in the past, administration officials are now reviewing the latest requests, according to the report.

Intelligence from the US and other allies on military targets on Russian soil would allow Ukraine to better plot approach routes for its drones and missiles, the newspaper said. With detailed terrain mapping, it would allow them to fly low and avoid radar detection, increasing their effectiveness. While Kiev already has access to commercial satellite imaging data, US intelligence would provide more detailed and timely information, they wrote.

General Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that Kiev has been seeking to ramp up strikes inside Russia. The Ukrainians have been “asking us for help to be able to strike into Russia,” the US general told reporters on Thursday, while flying to Brussels for NATO meetings.

The day before, State Secretary Antony Blinken stated that the US has left it up to Ukraine whether or not it uses US-supplied armaments to attack Russian territories. “We have not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine, but ultimately Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war,” he told reporters in Kiev.

In early May, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Kiev had the right to use UK-provided weaponry to for cross-border strikes on Russian targets. Moscow condemned the remarks and summoned London’s ambassador. Any use of British weapons against Russian territory could prompt Moscow to strike “any British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and beyond,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Friday that it is Kiev’s repeated strikes against residential districts in Russia that is forcing Moscow into creating a buffer zone on the border, as Russian forces push Ukrainian troops further back into Kharkov Region.

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