There are no restrictions: Ukraine can fire French-provided missiles at airfields in Kursk and Belgorod regions - BBC

Storm Shadow/SCALP
Can Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles hit Russia?

The United Kingdom and France allegedly could have allowed Ukraine to use their Storm Shadow/SCALP air-launched cruise missiles to strike military targets in Russia. Their range is up to 250 kilometers, so enemy airfields in the Kursk and Belgorod regions are potentially under threat.

This was reported by the BBC. It should be noted that there have been no official unequivocal statements from Western partners regarding the use of Storm Shadow/SCALP in Russia.

Kursk and Belgorod regions

Allowing some states to hit Russia with their weapons is a big step forward. Before that, Western leaders were worried about a possible "escalation of the conflict."

The situation was changed by the Russian offensive in the northeast of Kharkiv region. Kyiv managed to convince a significant number of its allies that the destruction of military facilities on the other side of the border was necessary to protect itself. After all, the restrictions allowed Russian troops to prepare for the opening of a new section of the front in safe conditions.

"After mounting pressure from Ukraine and other European countries, the US agreed to change its policy," the BBC noted.

At the same time, Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin threatened to expand "sanitary zones" if Western long-range weapons attack Russian territory. He even threatened NATO countries, saying that Europe should remember that they have "states with a small territory and high population density."

"They should take this factor into account before discussing strikes deep into Russian territory," Putin said.

The United States does not yet allow Ukrainians to attack Russia with ATACMS missiles. The latter can hit at a distance of up to 300 kilometers.

However, even with a shorter range of up to 70 kilometers, multiple launch rocket systems such as HIMARS can significantly disrupt enemy logistics and movement near the border, which will ultimately slow down any offensive plans.

However, the defense against bombs is still complex. To stop such air attacks, the Ukrainian Defense Forces need to destroy enemy aircraft that drop deadly bombs.

The Patriot air defense and missile defense systems could potentially do this. However, deploying them close to Kharkiv is a huge risk. Russian spy drones could quickly detect Patriot and launch ballistic missiles.

Interestingly, London and Paris have not announced any specific restrictions on Ukraine's use of Storm Shadow/SCALP. And their range can reach 250 kilometers.

In fact, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters last week:"We must allow [Ukraine] to neutralize the military sites from which the missiles are launched and, in fact, the military sites from which Ukraine is attacked."

A military aviation officer, who chose to remain anonymous, told the BBC that such rhetoric could be seen as permission to attack Russia with these missiles. According to him, Ukraine can now strike airfields in the Kursk and Belgorod regions of Russia.

The operations will be limited. Ukrainian Su-24s equipped with these cruise missiles will have to approach the Russian border to launch and take great risks. F-16s, which are expected to arrive by the end of 2024, are better equipped for such missions. But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently acknowledged that it is still unclear whether the partners will allow the use of American fighters to eliminate targets in Russia.

"I think that the use of any Western weapon on the territory of Russia is a matter of time," he said at the Nordic Summit in Stockholm on May 31.

As reported by OBOZ.UA:

- Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed that Washington does not object to the use of weapons provided to Kyiv to strike Russia.

- Politico said that it took a lot of negotiations for President Joe Biden to give the green light to this.

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