Ukraine Eases Western Concern By Promising Not to Strike Russian Soil – Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told journalists that Ukraine does not intend to use advanced weaponry sent by Western countries to strike Russian territory, potentially easing the concerns of not just the White House but allies across Europe as well.
“We always tell our partners officially that we will not use weapons supplied by foreign partners to fire on Russian territory,” Reznikov said. “We only fire on Russian units on temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory.”
What’s the End Game for Ukraine?
Western governments have long refrained from providing Ukraine with advanced, long-range missile systems and fighter jets for several reasons.
Among allies’ top concerns is the fact that, with every weapon or vehicle procured from domestic stockpiles, the donor country may be weakened or more vulnerable to an attack until those stockpiles are replenished.
The White House and European allies have also expressed concern over escalating the conflict, initially refusing to send tanks and longer-range missile systems until it became clear that Ukraine simply needed more support.
Initially, Ukraine’s requests for NATO weapons and missiles were rejected over fears that Russia would consider the United States and European countries to be legitimate targets for providing weapons used to resist the Russian invasion.
Additionally, the prospect of Ukraine using long-range missile systems to fire back onto Russian soil – and the possibility that these strikes could do major damage – raise questions over whether the Kremlin would consider the United States or Western Europe to be active participants in the war.
Reznikov’s comments, therefore, may well be true, but could also be part of an effort to quell the West’s fears about sending more weapons to Ukraine.
With the news out of Bakhmut that the Russians have encircled the city and Ukrainian soldiers are struggling to maintain control, now is a particularly important time for the Ukrainians to receive new weapons that can strike further into Russian positions in Ukraine and hinder the sudden Russian advances in Donetsk seen in recent weeks.
Ukraine also continues to push for its allies in the West to not only send the long-range MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System to Ukraine – a weapon that would allow Ukraine to strike targets from as far away as 190 miles.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.