Future Russian advances could be prevented if US scraps its 'absolutely unfair' ban on strikes inside Russia

Ukrainian military
Ukrainian military

The United States should scrap the "absolutely unfair" ban on the use of supplied weapons to strike targets inside Russia, said National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary, Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Financial Times reported.

This could prevent a new Russian offensive, he said.

The use of long-range missiles and other US-supplied weapons to strike Russian weapons depots, logistics centers, and refineries could prevent Moscow from resuming its offensive, Lytvynenko said, reinforcing the sentiments of other officials in Kyiv.

Read also: No foreign weapons used in strikes on Russian territory — UA intelligence

"Our forces did a great job to stop them (in the Kharkiv Oblast offensive - ed.)," he said.

"What may happen in the coming months, I cannot say. But now we have stabilized the situation."

Around 50,000 Russian soldiers were concentrated on the Kharkiv Oblast's border before dictator Vladimir Putin ordered the offensive earlier this month, Litvinenko said.

More than 30,000 Russian soldiers took part in the operation.

The operation was designed to "create a buffer zone" to better protect Russia's Belgorod Oblast from Ukrainian attacks and incursions, he claimed.

The secondary goal was an attempt to distract Ukrainian troops from other strategic points, in particular from those located in the east of the Donetsk Oblast.

Although Putin currently "does not have enough troops" to take Kharkiv, Lytvynenko did not rule out that the Russian dictator could try to capture the city in the future.

The use of Western weapons inside Russia

Read also: Lithuania supports fewer limits on Ukraine's use of Western arms for Russian strikes

Ukraine has likely received permission from the United States to use American weapons to strike Russian territory, Le Monde reported on May 16, analyzing statements made by U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken during his visit to Kyiv.

The United States "does not encourage" Ukraine to use American weapons for strikes on Russian territory, White House spokesman John Kirby said on May 17.

Foreign weapons "must be used to return Ukrainian sovereign territory" and that this should take place "on Ukrainian territory," the Pentagon noted.

British Foreign Minister David Cameron promised $3.74 billion in annual military aid to Ukraine "as much as needed," on May 3.

He added that London does not object to using its weapons to strike Russia.

Le Monde considers Cameron and Blinken's statements "a sign of a deliberate change in the West's position" on this issue.

Read also: Some European allies hold back air defense systems from Ukraine - Le Monde

On May 20, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Brown evasively answered the question of whether Ukraine could use American weapons to strike the territory of the Russian aggressor against the background of the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had asked the United States to allow Ukraine to use American missiles and other weapons for military purposes on the territory of Russia, Zelenskyy said in an interview with the NYT on May 21.

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