- US May Assist Ukrainian Strikes on Crimea – NYT
Publicly, Washington has so far avoided endorsing Kiev’s attacks inside Russian territory
The US government is weighing whether to supply Ukraine with the capability to attack the strategically important Crimean Peninsula, according to the New York Times. The discussions highlight a gradual shift among US officials toward more brazen support for Kiev, even as Washington insists it does not seek confrontation with Moscow.
Following months of hesitation, the White House is now warming to the idea that Ukraine may “need the power” for strikes deep inside Russian territory, namely military targets in Crimea, the Times reported on Wednesday, citing several unnamed US officials.
“American officials are discussing with their Ukrainian counterparts the use of American-supplied weapons, from HIMARS rocket systems to Bradley fighting vehicles, to possibly target … Crimea,” the outlet said, adding that Washington “has come to believe that if the Ukrainian military can show Russia that its control of Crimea can be threatened, that would strengthen Kiev’s position in any future negotiations.”
Despite Moscow’s heavy fortifications on the peninsula, which hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and other military bases, Crimea remains a “major focus” of Ukrainian battleplans, according to the Times. It is unclear exactly how Washington hopes to assist attacks on the region, but the outlet suggested the decision to supply Kiev with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles showed willingness to help Ukraine “go on the offense – including targeting Crimea.”