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ISW statement: US regulations carry disadvantages for Ukraine

No artillery fire in Russian territory.

Ukraine also wants to attack bases in Russia itself with Western weapons in order to destroy them...
Ukraine also wants to attack bases in Russia itself with Western weapons in order to destroy them even more effectively. So far, this has not been possible.

ISW statement: US regulations carry disadvantages for Ukraine

Ukraine is seeking to utilize US weapons to launch attacks against Russian territory in an attempt to gain an advantage in their defensive struggle against Moscow's aggression. Experts believe this could boost their odds, but the United States has been steadfast in their refusal so far. Moreover, Russia has issued a warning against any escalation.

Experts state that Ukraine's defenses are at a significant disadvantage as they cannot use US-supplied weapons on Russian soil. As per analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in Washington, Russia is taking advantage of the limitations imposed by the US and the West on the use of weapons and directly attacking from protected areas on the border with Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selensky had previously requested the use of American weapons for attacks on Russian territory. Ukraine has thus far relied on its own production for such purposes. As per the Pentagon, the US is providing weapons to help liberate occupied territories, but not for assaults on Russia itself.

However, both the UK and the US have hinted at potentially easing these restrictions lately. During a recent visit to Ukraine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the country must ultimately decide how to conduct its war. Selensky once again criticized the constraint on employing Western weapons against Russian territory, asserting that they could not be used to target Russia. Russia can retaliate with weapons stationed on its territory, which Ukraine cannot harm using Western weapons.

The ISW analysts mentioned that due to these restrictions imposed by the West, Russia can fire glide bombs and missiles at Ukraine with impunity from areas near the border. The Russians can organize their troops and technology in these regions before initiating an offensive. The current US approach hampers Ukraine's ability to defend itself against Russian strikes in northern Kharkiv, according to the ISW.

Putin warns of escalation

Ukraine hopes to employ Western weapons against Russian military bases to destroy them more effectively than with their own less potent drones and missiles. Russia, in turn, is threatening an escalation of the war if NATO countries' weapons are used to target their territory.

The ISW believes Russia is attempting to establish a buffer zone in the Kharkiv region to prevent Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory. Putin also stated on Friday that there are no plans to take Kharkiv themselves. Additionally, it is assumed that the Russian forces are still insufficient for a strategic offensive in Ukraine.

Based on ISW estimates, Russian troops are trying to contain the Ukrainian military in the Kharkiv region before launching more massive attacks in other eastern regions of Ukraine. Russia has goals of capturing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions completely, which are currently annexed but only partially occupied.

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