A new drone attack on a Russian base has confused the Americans
AFP, Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2022 at 07:49
Washington told Russia on Tuesday evening that it “does not encourage” attacks by Ukrainian drones, while Moscow said one of the drones was shot down at an airfield near the border on Tuesday without causing any casualties.
During the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky approached the front near Bakhmut, the main battlefield in eastern Ukraine, where the Ukrainian army has been resisting the Russian attack for months.
The move comes as Russia accuses its neighbor of increasing drone attacks on airfields on its territory.
The strikes, which have not been claimed by Kiev, but demonstrate the difficulties facing the invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters: “We do not encourage or help Ukraine to strike at Russia.” “But what you have to understand is that Ukrainians live with ongoing Russian aggression every day,” he added, accusing Moscow of “weaponizing winter” by bombing Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.
“What we are determined to do is put in their hands – along with many other partners around the world – the equipment they need to defend themselves, protect their territories and defend their freedoms,” Mr Blinken said.
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, along with Mr. Blinken, emphasized that the United States is not preventing Ukraine from developing its own long-range missiles.
The answer is no. We are certainly not doing that,” he said. “We are not doing anything to prevent Ukraine from developing its capabilities.”
US President Joe Biden has made it clear that he is not encouraging Ukraine to acquire long-range missiles, fearing tensions that could lead to a more direct US role against Russia.
After a new series of explosions in the energy infrastructure of Ukrainian countries, power cuts continue.
In New York (USA), the head of the UN humanitarian agency, Martin Griffiths, sounded the alarm before the Security Council: “Since October, the long-term attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have created a new level of needs affecting the entire country. aggravates the needs caused by the war”.
For his part, President Volodymyr Zelensky released three videos of him in Donbass, which Moscow claims was annexed in September, without monitoring him.
– “The hardest” –
“Eastern Ukraine is the most difficult axis (of the front),” Zelensky told soldiers on Armed Forces Day. “Thank you for your patience,” he added before handing out the decorations.
Six civilians were killed in Ukraine’s strikes in the remote pro-Russian stronghold of Donetsk, local authorities said.
Volodymyr Zelensky regularly approaches the front, something the Kremlin master has never done before, preferring video conferences from his office or residence.
The capture of Bakhmut will finally be a success for the Russians, who have been accumulating setbacks since the fall and were forced to retreat in the northeast and south.
In this context, the Kremlin has decided to concentrate attacks on energy installations in Ukraine, depriving the population of electricity, even water and heat, starting from October, when the temperature is negative.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu again on Tuesday justified these “massive strikes” with the need to “reduce Ukraine’s military potential.”
If the Kremlin continues to vow to defeat the Ukrainian resistance, the last few months have been very difficult for the Russian military, which has faced Ukrainians motivated and armed by their Western allies.
– Strategic failure –
Moscow has also condemned Ukrainian attacks over the past two days on Russian military airfields several hundred kilometers from the border between the two countries, including two on Monday. Russia reported that three people were killed and two planes were damaged in such an attack.
Kyiv has not officially claimed any responsibility. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “necessary measures will be taken” without giving details.
Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reports that Ukraine, in particular, used Soviet TU-141 drones on Monday to strike the Engels base, which is home to strategic bombers and is located 500 km from the Ukrainian border.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that if Kyiv could carry out such an operation, Moscow would consider it “the most significant strategic failure in the defense of its forces since the invasion of Ukraine”.
Another drone attack on the territory of the Kursk airfield near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday morning, this time setting fire to a fuel tank.
In Warsaw, the Polish authorities also announced that they would accept the Patriot missile batteries offered by Germany and which they had previously offered to send to Ukraine.
Germany had proposed deploying these modern American-made air defense systems on Poland’s eastern border after the deadly downing of a Ukrainian missile in the region.