Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Western states assisting Ukraine attack deep inside Russia: Report

Western countries are helping Ukraine to fly kamikaze drones deep inside Russian territory, CNN has reported, citing a source close to Kiev’s drone program.

An unnamed Ukrainian official who spoke to CNN described how Kiev uses UAVs with longer ranges and “more advanced capabilities” to strike targets located more than 1,000km (621 miles) from the border.

“The flights are determined in advance with our allies, and the aircraft follow the flight plan to enable us to strike targets with meters of precision,” the source said.

The admission of receiving guidance from abroad follows multiple reports that Western personnel are providing Ukrainian troops with intelligence and information about specific targets.

The Washington Post cited a senior Ukrainian official last year as saying that Kiev’s soldiers “almost never” use advanced weapons, including US-made HIMARS rocket launchers, without receiving coordinates from the Pentagon.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian drones targeted Russia’s Tatarstan, a region 650km east of Moscow (400 miles), which had not previously been attacked by UAVs. One drone was aiming to hit an oil refinery in Nizhnekamsk, a city located roughly 1,100km (680 miles) from the border. Mayor Ramil Mullin said that the aircraft was disabled by air defenses and caused no damage.

Another drone struck a student dormitory inside the industrial zone in Elabuga, injuring 13 people. The hub hosts several companies that make high-tech equipment, including drones, according to Russian media.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that the delivery of weapons and other military aid to Kiev makes Western countries de facto direct participants in the conflict. The Russian Defense Ministry and local authorities have said that Kiev uses Western-supplied arms to indiscriminately fire at civilians.

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