The New York Times reported that Washington appears to be softening its stance on supplying Ukraine with weapons capable of effectively striking Crimea, where there are thousands of Russian troops and numerous Russian military bases. At the same time, the daily noted that the American administration does not believe that Ukraine can take over the peninsula by military means.
According to the newspaper, the change in the attitude of the administration in Washington is due to the belief that if Ukraine will prove to Moscow that its control over Crimea may be at risk, which will strengthen Kiev’s position in possible future negotiations. In addition, fears that the Kremlin will retaliate with tactical nuclear weapons have lessened, although experts and Washington officials caution that such risks remain.
As noted by The New York Times USA and their allies FOR THIS they are “loosening the shackles” they have imposed on themselves and have started supplying Ukraine with Javelins and Stingers, Patriot air defense systems, armored fighting vehicles and even some Western tanks. They are also discussing with Kiev the use of e.g. Bradley combat vehicles, which would make it possible to shake Putin’s control over the supply route connecting Crimea with Russia through the Russian-occupied cities of Melitopol and Mariupol.
However, President Biden is not yet ready to give Ukraine the long-range missile systems Kyiv would need to attack Russian installations on the peninsula.
Ukrainian officials fear their country will not survive years of stalemate
“NYT” noted that Ukraine considers Crimea to be an important target for its attacks, and continuing military pressure on Russian bases there is an important part of its strategy. Bradleys, armored personnel carriers equipped with powerful 25mm guns and guided missiles, can defeat Russian tanks and help Kiev go on the offensive – including an attack on the Crimea.
“Ukrainian officials fear that their country will not survive years of stalemate while Russia continues to strike at their cities and towns. So they have little choice but to target Crimea and put it in jeopardy,” the newspaper wrote.
It said that despite the supply of weapons, the Washington administration did not believe that Ukraine could take Crimea militarily. He also fears an escalation from Putin.
“Giving Russia a refuge from which to fight is absolutely absurd”
The “NYT” also quoted a statement from retired US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.
“In essence, we put restrictions on Ukraine saying that this war will be fought on your soil, not on Russian soil. (…) Giving Russia a shelter from which to fight without fear of condemnation is absolutely absurd. makes no military sense,” Breedlove argued.
Main photo source: US Army National Guard photo by 1LT Robert Barney/DVIDS