US Officials Admit Weapons Supplied to Kiev Could Reach Russian Territory

By Lucas Leiroz de Almeida

Global Research, October 06, 2022


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The US insists on escalating the situation in Ukraine and deteriorating the global security crisis. On October 4, the US government announced another package of military aid to Kiev, valued at more than 625 million dollars. Despite the country being under a serious political, social, and economic crisis, with the public debt exceeding 30 trillion dollars, supporting Kiev’s neo-Nazi regime is the number one priority of the unpopular Biden administration.

However, more serious than the mere act of helping Ukraine is the type of assistance that has been provided. A few months ago, the US began sending M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Ukraine, ignoring several Russian requests that such weapons not be supplied to Kiev. At the time, American officials stated that such weapons would be used by their partners only within Ukrainian territorial limits, not hitting targets in Russia.

The problem is that the US does not recognize Russian sovereignty over the recently reintegrated regions and not even over Crimea, which in 2014 was admitted as part of Russia after the popular will in this sense was attested by referendum. With that, the impasse remains: for the US, weapons can be used within the entire territorial limit that Kiev claims to have, which includes Russian areas.

Shortly after the announcement of the latest aid package by the Biden government, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian and European Affairs, Laura Cooper, commented on the case and emphasized the ability of the weapons provided to reach Russian Crimea:

“It’s our assessment that with the existing GMLRS [Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System] capability that they have on the HIMARS and that we’re providing more of, with this package, that they can reach the vast majority of targets on the battlefield, including Crimea (…) [This package is] valued at up to $625 million [and] will contribute to meeting Ukraine’s critical defense needs”.

It is well known that such weapons, depending on where they are located, could reach Crimea. What was expected was the American willingness to demand from its Ukrainian proxies a rational posture, limiting the use of lethal equipment to zones within the disputed territory. Crimea is not even a conflict zone, as Russian sovereignty in the region has been pacified since 2014. Hitting Crimea, as Ukrainian forces have already done several times and Russia ignored in order to avoid escalation, is an offensive on Russian territory. And Cooper’s words at this point sound like a kind of “authorization” on the part of Washington for this type of conduct to be carried out by Kiev.

In fact, the situation is more serious than that. The very justification for this recent package was the “need” to react to the Russian referenda, considered by the West as an illegal maneuver. This was confirmed by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken himself, who commented on the package stating:

“Recent developments from Russia’s sham referenda and attempted annexation to new revelations of brutality against civilians in Ukrainian territory formerly controlled by Russia only strengthens our resolve”.

In practice, the statements by Cooper and Blinken only confirm that the US will not respect the popular decision of the peoples of those regions to be part of Russia, and therefore there is no requirement on the part of Washington for Kiev to limit its attack capacity. Bombings against Kherson, Zaparozhye, Donetsk, Lugansk and even Crimea are “authorized” and are even encouraged by the West as a way of ending what is considered an “illegal Russian occupation”.

A more flexible stance on the part of the West could be achieved if there was a diplomatic disposition. Not having recognition does not mean allowing bombings and encouraging destabilization. It would be absolutely possible for Washington, even not recognizing the legitimacy of Russian sovereignty in these regions, to prevent Kiev from bombing them, just in order to avoid an even greater military escalation. However, for the US and NATO, decelerating the conflict and seeking peace was never a priority. The West seems really ready to take the fighting to its ultimate consequences, as long as Russia continues to be confronted and attacked in every possible way.

The conflict radically changes its nature from the moment the Russian Federation becomes the target of attacks. The special military operation for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine now coexists with an operation for the territorial defense of regions that are part of Russia. Protecting territorial integrity is a top priority for any national state and Moscow will certainly take all necessary measures to prevent its reintegrated regions from being bombed by foreign regimes.


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Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant. You can follow Lucas on Twitter and Telegram.

Featured image is by Monica King, licensed under the Public Domain

The original source of this article is InfoBrics

Copyright © Lucas Leiroz de AlmeidaInfoBrics, 2022

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