Home News Ukraine urges allies to allow its weapons to target Russian air force

Ukraine urges allies to allow its weapons to target Russian air force

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After bombs dropped by Russian warplanes hit residential areas in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv this weekend, killing at least four people and injuring dozens, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday called on allies to further ease restrictions on the use of Western weapons so his forces can use them against Russian air bases.

The Biden administration’s recent decision to allow Ukraine to use certain weapons to strike forces inside Russia had an immediate effect, helping Ukraine thwart Moscow’s offensive north of Kharkiv and slowing the bombardment of Ukraine’s second-largest city, which lies just about 25 miles from the border.

But the lifting of U.S. restrictions does not apply to the use of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), some of which have a range of about 190 miles. These longer-range weapons are needed to strike air bases deep inside Russia, which are used by bombers. Kiev can only rely largely on its growing fleet of domestically produced drones to strike these bases.

Ukraine’s air defense system Gradually strengthen Russia continues its daily bombing campaign even after months of delays in U.S. military aid, and Zelensky is desperate to find a way to stop the attacks before they happen.

“We are determined enough to eliminate terrorists in their territory – that is fair – and we need the same determination from our partners,” he said. A post on social media on Sunday.

“Today alone, our fighters shot down two Russian Kalibr missiles,” he wrote. “Yesterday — 12 Russian missiles and 13 attack drones. And so on — every night, every day and every night.”

His office released a video showing some of the carnage Russia has wreaked in the past few weeks. 90 Seconds of Fire Strikes were reported in nearly every region of Ukraine, local officials and emergency workers reported.

The latest attacks this weekend included the destruction of about half of the buildings at the Ivano-Frankivsk State Technical University of Oil and Gas in western Ukraine, and an attack on Kiev that ended before dawn Sunday when fragments of missiles fired from the air struck homes and apartment buildings, injuring several people, according to city officials and emergency services.

Kharkiv was hit again by airstrikes on Sunday evening, with emergency workers racing to search for survivors. Expressed on social media At least one person was killed in the attack.

Zelensky said more could be done to stop the bombings, pointing to the immediate impact of revised rules of engagement on Kharkiv and its surrounding areas as evidence.

This is the first time since Moscow launched North City Cross-Border Attack Ukrainian military spokesman Nazar Voloshin said on Sunday that no major Russian offensive operations were reported in the region in early May.

According to Mr Voloshin, Russian forces “withdrew some of their forces for resupply” while continuing to bombard the area and reinforce new defense lines.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research group, noted a reduction in Russian infantry advances north of Kharkiv but said Moscow appeared to be stepping up its attacks in other parts of eastern Ukraine. Military experts said they believed the Russian offensive around Kharkiv was intended at least in part to create gaps in other areas by spreading Ukrainian forces thin. Russia continued to make gains in other parts of the front line.

But as Western weapons flowed into Ukraine, the Biden administration eased restrictions on the use of American weapons, and artillery units outside Kharkiv were allowed to use vehicle-mounted multiple rocket launchers, or HIMARS, which can fire Satellite guided rocket Commanders in the region noticed that the Russian offensive slowed almost immediately as infantry units became bogged down and received little support.

Ukraine also For S300 and S400 systems Russia has used the missile to fire at Kharkiv from across the border, and Ukrainian officials said there have been no reports of the missile hitting the city since the launchers were dismantled.

“The significant decrease in Russian missile terrorist attacks against Kharkiv and the region proves that it is possible to protect our cities and communities from Russian bombs,” said Oleg Sinihubov, head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration.

Zelensky said he was “grateful to the United States for its strong decision, which helped us stabilize the situation in the Kharkiv border region,” adding that “such decisions need to continue.”

Ukrainian officials say they are particularly interested in preventing the Kremlin from deploying powerful guided bombs.

Last week, Fighterbomber, a Telegram channel closely linked to the Russian military, shared a video claiming to show the use of the giant bomb, known as the FAB-3000Located north of Kharkiv. Weighing more than 6,600 pounds, the bomb is one of the most powerful in Russian service and at least three times larger than some U.S.-made bombs. Bombs used by Israel In Gaza.

Ilya Yevlash, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said it was impossible to comment on claims that the FAB-3000 had been used until the wreckage was analyzed.

Russia has designed winged guidance systems for its arsenal of older bombs, which weigh from 500 pounds to more than 3,000 pounds, turning them into weapons that can be deployed by warplanes beyond the range of Ukrainian air defenses.

These bombs paved the way for Russian troops Capture of Avdiivka It has played an integral role in Russia’s development since the beginning of this year.

Zelensky said Russia launched more than 3,200 guided bombs in May. On Saturday, he said Moscow had fired more than 2,400 guided bombs this month.

Pentagon officials declined to release specific details about the new guidelines for deploying U.S. weapons, but shortly after President Biden approved their use at the border, Michael Carpenter, senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council, said Ukrainian state news agency The decision “does not apply to ATACMS or long-range strike.”

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder Reiterate this point this week.

“The focus of this policy is really on the ability to fight back if you’re being shot at,” he said.

When it comes to “long-range munitions like ATACMS,” he noted, “the policy has not changed.”

Natalia Novosolova Contributed to research.

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