Saturday, 22 June 2024 04:45

What to know after Day 849 of Russia-Ukraine war

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US permits Ukrainian strikes anywhere beyond conflict front line – Politico

The US has permitted Ukraine to strike targets on Russian territory using American-made weapons anywhere across the front line – not just in the Kharkov Region, Politico has reported.

This doesn’t represent a change to Washington’s policy on the use of US-supplied weapons by Kiev, anonymous sources told the outlet in an article published on Thursday.

In late May, media reported that the administration of President Joe Biden had quietly greenlighted Ukrainian attacks using American weapons inside Russian territory for “counterfire purposes in the Kharkov region.” The ban on long-range strikes deep inside Russia remained unchanged, according to the reports.

In an interview with ABC News earlier this month, Biden clarified that Ukraine could use US-made arms “only in proximity to the border [with Russia] when [Russian weapons] are being used on the other side of the border to attack specific targets in Ukraine.” Washington is “not authorizing strikes 200 miles into Russia and we’re not authorizing strikes on Moscow, on the Kremlin,” he clarified.

Officials who talked to Politico confirmed the statement made by White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan earlier this week, in which he said Kiev’s ability to fire US-supplied weapons wasn’t limited to Kharkov Region.

“It extends to anywhere that Russian forces are coming across the border from the Russian side to the Ukrainian side to try to take additional Ukrainian territory,” Sullivan said in an interview with PBS on Tuesday.

Russian forces are now advancing in Kharkov Region, but if they move across the border in some other area, “it would apply there as well,”Sullivan explained. “This is not about geography. It’s about common sense. If Russia is attacking or about to attack from its territory into Ukraine, it only makes sense to allow Ukraine to hit back against the forces that are hitting it from across the border.”

Russia has repeatedly warned against the use of weapons supplied to Kiev by the US and their allies to strike deep inside its territory, arguing that such attacks would amount to direct Western participation in the conflict, as the Ukrainian military is unable to fire foreign long-range systems without assistance from NATO states.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow would not rule out supplying weapons to other countries, including North Korea, in response to the West providing long-range systems to Ukraine.



Ukrainian drones knock out two substations, Russia-installed officials say

Russian-installed officials said on Friday that Ukrainian drone attacks had put out of action two electricity substations in Enerhodar, the town serving the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and cut power to most of its residents.

But an official at the occupied Zaporizhzhia station, Europe's largest nuclear plant with six reactors, said it was unaffected by the military action.

Russian troops seized the plant in the early days of the February 2022 invasion and Moscow and Kyiv have since routinely accused each other of endangering safety around it. It produces no electricity at the moment.

Eduard Senovoz, the top official in Enerhodar, wrote on Telegram that the latest attack had damaged the second of two substations supplying the town. The other substation was destroyed on Wednesday, he wrote.

Ukrainian officials have made no comment on the incidents and Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.

Russian news agencies quoted Yevgeny Yashin, director of communications at the Zaporizhzhia station, as saying the latest attack had no effect on the nuclear plant. And he said the substation could be repaired.

"Specialists have gone out to the site to assess the damage," Yashin told RIA news agency. "There is a chance to restore the damaged transformer but it will take time."

Russia launched mass attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the first winter of the conflict and resumed a long series of attacks in March.

Kyiv says the renewed attacks have knocked out half of Ukraine's energy generating capacity and forced blackouts.

Ukraine has stepped up its use of drones this year to attack Russian oil facilities. Ukrainian drones struck four Russian oil refineries as well as radar stations and other military targets in Russia in the early hours of Friday, Kyiv's military said.



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