The Pentagon has given its tacit endorsement of Ukrainian attacks inside Russian territory and no longer fears such operations could lead to a “dramatic” Russian escalation, The Times reported on Friday, citing unnamed US defense officials.
The US position appears to only be based on the fact that up to this point, Russia hasn’t responded to attacks on its territory with nuclear weapons or by attacking NATO countries.
The Times report reads: “Moscow’s revenge attacks have to date all involved conventional missile strikes against civilian targets. Previously, the Pentagon was warier of Ukraine attacking Russia because it feared the Kremlin would retaliate either with tactical nuclear weapons or by targeting neighboring NATO nations.”
The report came after Ukrainian drone attacks hit Russian air bases deep inside Russian territory, including one that killed three Russian soldiers and damaged two Russian bombers. Following the attacks, Russian missiles pounded Ukrainian energy infrastructure, worsening the already dire situation for millions of Ukrainian civilians who are without power and heat in freezing temperatures.
Russia didn’t start launching large-scale attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure until October, after the truck bombing of the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to the Russian mainland. US officials previously said that they support Ukrainian attacks on Crimea.
The Times report said that the US doesn’t want to publicly give Ukraine the greenlight to attack targets inside Russia. In public comments, US officials have said they are not “encouraging” or “enabling” Ukrainian strikes inside Russian territory. But a US defense official said that it’s up to Ukraine where they attack and that they have limited restrictions on using US-provided weapons.
…click on the above link to read the rest…