Politico: U.S. will approve UAF use of Western weapons against military installations in Crimea Politico, citing an anonymous Biden administration official, said the U.S. would not object if Ukraine uses Western weapons to attack military installations in Crimea. Moscow promised to respond if this happens
A US Air Force sergeant checks pallets of shells bound for Ukraine
The United States does not object to the Ukrainian army striking military targets in Crimea, Politico reports, citing a senior representative of US President Joe Biden.
“Of course, we don't select targets, and all the [weapons] we have provided are for self-defense purposes. Any goal that they [the Armed Forces] decide to pursue on sovereign Ukrainian soil is, by definition, self-defense,— he said.
To the clarifying question of the correspondent of the newspaper, whether he was talking about the peninsula, he answered: “Crimea— this is Ukraine. The administration official also said that Kyiv is aware of Washington's point of view.
Former U.S. State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volcker told Politico that “Russian forces have nothing to do there [in Crimea].” According to him, the attack on Russian military facilities in Crimea “is no different from the attack on them near Kyiv, Kherson or in eastern Ukraine.”
Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 following a referendum in which the majority of the inhabitants of the peninsula voted for joining Russia. Ukraine and Western countries did not recognize its results, they consider the peninsula an occupied territory and accuse Moscow of annexation. The Russian authorities have repeatedly stated that the issue of Crimea is closed.
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Back in the summer, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense assumed that Kyiv could use American HIMARS MLRS to strike Russian targets in Crimea, which, as the department said, is “a hub for the movement of all Russian equipment, ammunition and weapons.” to the south of Ukraine. The representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Vadym Skibitsky, also noted the threat from the Black Sea, from the waters of which rocket launches are made on Ukrainian territory. In turn, Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the head of the office of the Ukrainian president, stated that the promise given to Western partners not to hit targets on Russian territory with foreign weapons does not apply to the Crimean bridge.
In the Kremlin, the words about a possible strike on the Crimean bridge were called “the announcement of a possible terrorist act.” The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, said that the army takes “note” all threats of attacks on the bridge. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, for his part, promised that in the event of an attack from Kyiv, Russia would hit the “decision-making centers”: “Everyone understands what these centers are” this is the Ministry of Defense, and the General Staff, and whatever.
On the evening of August 18, air defense systems went off in Kerch, local communities on Vkontakte the sounds of explosions were reported. Oleg Kryuchkov, adviser to the head of Crimea, said that there was no danger to the city and the Crimean bridge.
Two days earlier, on August 16, in the village of Mayskoye, Dzhankoy district, ammunition detonated at a temporary warehouse . Two people were injured, power lines, a power plant, a railway and residential buildings were damaged. The Russian Ministry of Defense explained the incident as sabotage, and an emergency mode was introduced in the north of the peninsula. A local emergency situation has already been introduced on the peninsula after explosions at the Saki airfield near the resort village of Novofedorovka, which occurred on the afternoon of August 9. The Ministry of Defense stated that several aviation ammunition detonated on the territory of the airfield at the storage site.
Ukraine has not officially confirmed its involvement in the incident in Mayskoye. However, on August 17, CNN reported, citing a Ukrainian government report received from a Ukrainian official, that Kyiv was behind the explosions at Russian military facilities.
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