Ukraine claims successful strike inside Russian territory with Western weapons

Kyiv [Ukraine], June 4 (ANI): Ukrainian forces claimed on Monday that they had achieved a significant victory by targeting a Russian S-300 missile system using Western-supplied weaponry within Russian territory, CNN reported.

Government minister Iryna Vereshchuk took to Facebook to share the news, accompanied by a striking image purportedly capturing the aftermath of the strike.

“It burns beautifully. It’s a Russian S-300. On Russian territory. The first days after permission to use Western weapons on enemy territory,” Vereshchuk’s post read, reflecting the gravity of the accomplishment, as reported by CNN.

This follows closely on the heels of US President Joe Biden’s recent authorisation for Ukraine to conduct limited strikes employing US armaments within Russian territory surrounding Kharkiv. Notably, this authorisation came subsequent to the lifting of restrictions by several European nations regarding the utilisation of these weapons.

The precise origin of the weaponry deployed in the strike highlighted by Vereshchuk remains unclear, raising questions about its potential linkage to US-supplied arms.

For months, Ukraine had fervently appealed to Washington for the authorisation to target Russian soil with US weaponry. This plea stemmed from Moscow’s relentless onslaught on Kharkiv, during which Russian forces took advantage of the ability to retreat to their own territory for respite, shielded from Western retaliation, according to CNN.

The approval granted by the US, while groundbreaking, is subject to stringent conditions. Ukraine is limited to targeting areas surrounding Kharkiv, with the US staunchly refusing permission for the deployment of its most formidable munition, the long-range ATACMS missiles, into Russian territory.

Instead, Ukraine is restricted to employing shorter-range GMLRS missiles, with a range of approximately 70 kilometers.

Military experts have lauded the decision while exercising caution about its scope. Franz-Stefan Gady of the International Institute for Strategic Studies emphasised that GMLRS strikes would complicate Russian military operations around Kharkiv but wouldn’t halt them entirely. Similarly, Mathieu Boulegue from Chatham House described the policy change as an enhancement rather than a game-changer, likening it to a supplementary tool for Ukraine’s defence.

While this development signifies a significant departure in the conflict, Ukraine has previously conducted strikes with Western weapons on territories claimed by Russia.

Notably, Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, has been a frequent target, with Ukraine employing “Storm Shadow” missiles provided by the UK.

Furthermore, in late 2022, Ukrainian strikes targeted Kharkiv and Kherson in efforts to reclaim regions occupied by Russia in the war’s early stages. Throughout these actions, Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have brandished nuclear threats in an attempt to dissuade Western support.

The decision by the US, along with several European allies, to remove restrictions on Ukrainian weapon use underscores a unified stance in support of Ukraine’s defence. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed Biden’s authorisation as a pivotal advancement in bolstering the besieged Kharkiv region’s defences, CNN reported. (ANI)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here