Putin 'reaping benefits' of West's ban on Ukraine to strike Russia
Russian forces are attacking the border of Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv region (Picture: Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin has been ‘reaping the benefits’ of a ‘ban’ on Ukraine to use its Western-supplied weapons to strike military targets inside Russia.

From the British Storm Shadow missiles and Scalp from France, to the US-supplied ATACMS – some of the most powerful missiles have been sent to Ukraine to push back invaders.

There is one catch – they are to be used on Ukraine’s sovereign territory, including occupied Crimea.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s Western partners have long prohibited him from deploying supplied weapons on Russian territory – even if they are ‘legitimate military sites’.

KHARKIV, UKRAINE MAY 10: A view from the site aftermath of the explosion of a Russian missile (according to the Ukrainian authorities, S-400) in the area of a cottage residential development in Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 10, 2024. The explosion occurred on May 10 at 03:20. At the site of the explosion, 3 residential buildings and outbuildings were destroyed, and several other buildings were damaged. Doctors treated a 72-year-old woman and an 11-year-old child for acute stress reaction. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu via Getty Images)
The aftermath of a Russian missile attack in Kharkiv on May 10, 2024 (Picture: Getty)

It was only recently that UK foreign minister David Cameron greenlit the army to use UK-provided missiles.

But a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said this came ‘too late’ to allow forces to hold back the concentration of Russian troops along the border.

It added: ‘Ukraine has previously used US-provided HIMARS to devastating effect, particularly in forcing Russian forces to withdraw from the west (right) bank of Kherson Oblast in November 2022 and continue to use HIMARS and other US- and Western-provided weapons to strike Russian force concentrations in rear and deep rear areas in occupied Ukraine.

‘Ukraine regularly conducts drone strikes against infrastructure and airfields in Russia, but these lack the same interdiction effects that Ukrainian forces now need to generate to undermine the Russian offensive operations.

Volunteer Vitaliy Kylchik helps Valentyna to walk to a car during evacuation to Kharkiv, in Vovchansk, Ukraine, on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Volunteer Vitaliy Kylchik helps Valentyna to walk to a car during evacuation to Kharkiv (Picture: AP)

‘They would greatly benefit from being able to use advanced long-range weapons systems to disrupt Russian logistics nodes and routes that are currently supplying the Kharkiv offensive but must instead rely on their limited and depleted stock of indigenous weapons.’

ISW’s warning comes at a particularly pivotal time when Putin is making advances to recapture Kharkiv.

The new Russian push in the northeastern region – along with the ongoing drive into the eastern Donetsk region – come after months when the about 620-mile front line barely budged.

In the meantime, both sides have used long-range strikes in what largely became a war of attrition.

Police carry an elderly man to a bus to evacuate him from the village of Bugayivka close to Vovchansk, the site of heavy battles with the Russian troops in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)
Police carry an elderly man to a bus to evacuate him from the village of Bugayivka close to Vovchansk (Picture: AP)

After heavy shelling of Kharkiv region, Russian forces smashed through the border over recent days.

It has been claimed that they have pushed Ukrainian soldiers out of at least nine villages in the area.

The move threatens to open up a new front and has forced Ukraine to dedicate additional troops to the area just as Russian forces advance at key points along the front in the south and the east..

Russian milibloggers said Putin was taking advantage of numerical superiority to push hard into relatively undefended areas with small highly mobile units of troops, which then surrounded Ukrainian positions.



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