Ukraine Hits Base In Crimea With US Long-Range Missiles In Further Escalation

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, May 25, 2024 - 03:20 AM

The Ukrainians aren't waiting for 'permission' from the US despite the Biden administration's official prohibition on using American-supplied weaponry to strike inside Russian territory. But perhaps Kiev's argument is that Crimea is not 'Russian territory'...

"Ukraine hit a Russian military complex in Crimea with U.S.-provided long-range missiles Thursday night, the latest in a mounting series of strikes aimed at slowing the Russian war machine," The Wall Street Journal reports Friday.

MAXAR technologies/Reuters satellite image showing a destroyed aircraft  Crimea last week.

The WSJ continues, "The missile strike hit a communications center of Russian air-defense forces in the city of Alushta, according to a Ukrainian defense official." It added: "Crimean social-media channels reported several explosions in the coastal city, with one video showing a large blast, but the extent of the damage couldn’t immediately be established."

Long-range ATACMS (or Army Tactical Missile System), were first transferred 'secretly' by Washington to Ukraine's military earlier this year, and only disclosed publicly just weeks ago. In late April, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said a "significant number" of the ATACMS have been sent to Ukraine but did not specify how many. They can hit targets up to 190 miles away - and earlier in the war were withheld reportedly on White House concerns that they would be used to attack deep within Russian territory.

The UK and France have also of late provided longer-range systems, including cruise missiles that can be launched from aircraft. The WSJ underscores these new weapons "have significantly boosted the range, value and number of the deep-lying targets that Ukraine can attack."

But the reality is that with each new attack on Russia, its forces appear to be hitting back harder with 'punishing' strikes on Kharkiv and as far south as the large port city of Odessa. 

For example, Russia's defense ministry is reporting its troops have achieved 49 combined strikes at "Ukrainian military sites, military-industrial facilities, arms, ammunition and fuel depots, army and mercenaries’ deployment areas" over the past week of fighting.

In the Kharkiv region, "The enemy’s losses over the week amounted to 1,840 personnel, six tanks, eight armored combat vehicles, 40 motor vehicles, four Grad and Vampire multiple rocket launchers and 37 field artillery guns," the ministry said.

Thus Ukraine's provocative attacks inside Russian territory aren't having any actual impact on frontline fighting positions. Instead, the attacks are ultimately resulting in drawing NATO and Russia deeper into a more direct conflict.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday lodged a new complaint, saying West-supplied weapon are already being used against civilians inside Russia.

The below WSJ/ISW map demonstrates Ukraine forces' significantly increasing missile range:

"American weapons are already being used against a wide variety of facilities outside the combat zone," Lavrov stated. "We proceed from the fact that American and other Western weapons are hitting targets on Russian territory, primarily civilian infrastructure and residential neighborhoods."

He bluntly concluded Western countries "are waging a war against Russia" despite all the officially stated positions which appear to dissuade Kiev from escalating with Western weapons. Lavrov said this is something that "that the Americans are trying to present to their public opinion or to NATO members."