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  • 18 Jun, 2024

Ukraine has launched attacks on Russian territory using weaponry supplied by the United States.

Ukraine has launched attacks on Russian territory using weaponry supplied by the United States.

Recent attacks indicate that Ukraine's improved defense capabilities may be a result of the easing of restrictions.

Ukraine may have started to see the advantages of being able to attack Russian territory with Western weapons last week.

France and Germany have agreed to let Ukraine use their weapons to target Russian territory in response to Russia's recent offensive against Kharkiv on May 10.

On May 30, US sources informed the media that Ukraine was permitted to use American weapons for defensive purposes in Kharkiv.

Ukraine was advised to only retaliate against attacks and not proactively target weapons systems and troop concentrations based on intelligence.

The US's lack of clarity is allowing Russia to continue preparing for potential offensives in northern Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank in Washington, DC.

Last week, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine informed about the presence of troops gathered to the north of Sumy, a Ukrainian city.

Ukraine's recent strike on Russian soil using Western weapons may have been the result of a misunderstanding of certain restrictions.

Ukraine's military launched a missile attack on the Kerch ferry crossing, which the enemy was using to strengthen its presence in Crimea, according to Ukraine's general staff.

The Kerch ferry crossing is located on the Russian side of the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from the Russian region of Krasnodar Krai. It is not close to Kharkiv, which is near the Russian region of Belgorod.

Ukraine says they have caused significant damage to two ferries carrying railway and car transports and have disrupted military logistics.

The US has restricted Ukraine from using its 300km-range ATACMS in Russia, allowing its use only on occupied territories like Crimea, which are within 300km from Ukrainian front lines.

Ukraine recently carried out a strike on Russian territory using a weapon provided by the US, and it appears to have been within the planned target area.

Germany's ambassador to the UK echoed the US stance on supporting Ukraine's ability to defend itself against potential attacks on the Kharkiv region originating from Russian territory.

The UK and France were the first to lift restrictions on weapons use, but they have not publicly stated any limitations on their use. Germany and the US are typically more cautious, with Germany ensuring they do not exceed the US in military support.

Ukraine used high mobility army rocket systems to target and destroy a Russian air defense complex in Belgorod over the weekend. Geolocated footage confirmed the destruction of two launchers and damage to a command post.

As soon as the issue of geographic restrictions was brought up, Ukraine's allies began to show their opinions on the use of the F-16s that they are scheduled to deliver in the upcoming summer.

Denmark's Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has stated that there are no limitations on using the F-16 fighter jets being provided to Ukraine to attack targets within Russia.

Netherlands Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren also delivered a similar message on June 3.

She stated to Politico that once we give it to Ukraine, they can use it as they please.

The Netherlands has committed to providing 24 F-16s to Ukraine by the fall, while Denmark will be delivering its planes in the summer.

Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has stated that Ukraine is not allowed to use Belgian F-16s or other weapons to target Russia, which is in direct opposition to the stance taken by other countries.

Belgium has supported Ukraine cautiously due to its interest in protecting its diamond trade, according to Jens Bastian from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

He stated that there is a growing number of instances where a lack of maturity is leading to conflicts between European Union countries.

Belgium has managed to exempt the diamond trade from previous sanctions packages, but it was finally addressed in the 12th sanctions package in December 2023.

Russia is the largest diamond producer in the world, mining 42 million carats in 2022. Belgium is home to the largest diamond market globally.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow has not ruled out using nuclear force despite the lifting of geographical restrictions.

He stated that their nuclear doctrine allows for the use of all possible means if someone threatens their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

US National Security spokesperson John Kirby appeared to minimize the importance of the change by stating that Ukraine has always had the capability to shoot down Russian aircraft in Russian airspace and has done so multiple times.

Ukraine's military leader, Oleksandr Syrskii, announced that additional troops are being sent to the Kharkiv area.

Nazar Voloshyn from the Khortytsia group claimed that 50 to 60 Russian soldiers were killed and twice that number were wounded daily in Chasiv Yar. He did not provide any information on Ukrainian casualties, and the accuracy of the numbers given by both sides cannot be confirmed by the Press.

However, Syrskyii stated that these forces are currently insufficient to launch a complete attack and break through our defense.

Ukraine's Military Media Centre reported that around 8,790 Russian soldiers were killed or injured in the past week, which is approximately the same as 18 battalions. Additionally, they stated that 103 tanks, 177 armored vehicles, and 280 artillery systems were destroyed.

Ukraine has consistently claimed that Russia has a significant advantage in artillery, with some areas having a ratio as high as 10:1.

A Russian military journalist stated that Ukraine has a significant advantage over Russia in first-person view drones, which are used to locate enemy positions. These drones have been a key factor in deterring Russian offensive actions for several months.

Earlier this year, Ukraine announced plans to manufacture one million FPV drones domestically. Recently, Ukraine has claimed to have shot down between 3,000 and 5,000 Russian FPV drones per week.

This week, it appeared that the skill in handling drones has now been extended to include direct combat between drones.

During the ongoing conflict, a Ukrainian drone successfully took down two Russian drones, including a Lancet loitering munition and an Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAV, marking the first time such an event has occurred.

He described it as a significant development in the ongoing air combat in the war.

Ukraine has been using its own long-range drones to target Russian assets without any restrictions on their use.

Last week, Ukraine's Security Service destroyed a Nebo long-range radar system in Crimea and successfully used drones to attack an oil depot in Krasnodar Krai.

Russia launched a large attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure using drones and missiles. Ukraine's air force was able to intercept most of the drones and missiles, but some power plants were still damaged.

Syed Haider

Syed Haider

BMM - MBA