Follow us on social

Shutterstock_2148138401-scaled

Ukraine hits targets deep inside Russia in break with Biden administration

Washington has opposed Ukrainian efforts to attack Russian territory, citing risks of escalation to a broader war.

Europe

Within 24 hours, Ukraine has used drones to attack several military targets inside Russia in a move that the Washington Post described as Kyiv’s “most brazen hit on Russian territory” since the war began.

After the first two strikes hit targets deep within Russia’s borders, a top Ukrainian official suggested in a cryptic tweet that the move was an inevitable result of the Kremlin’s continued assault. “[I]f something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point,” wrote Mykhailo Podolyak, a top advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The United States has opposed Ukraine’s desire to hit targets within Russia since the war began, citing concerns about potential escalation. Given President Joe Biden’s strong stance, Kyiv promised Washington earlier this year that it would not strike Russian territory directly.

The Biden administration has also limited the types of weapons that it is willing to send to Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Kyiv’s most fervent supporters in Congress, who have long called on Biden to give Ukraine long-range missiles.

And new reporting indicates that the Pentagon has gone further than simply limiting the missiles and launchers that it sends to Kyiv. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Department of Defense quietly modified U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) such that they cannot launch long-range missiles before shipping them off to Ukraine.

The attacks "underscore the difficulty the Biden administration faces in trying to control the risks of escalation in this war," according to George Beebe of the Quincy Institute.

"Despite our efforts to manage these risks, both the Russians and the Ukrainians can take actions that escalate the war in dangerous ways and increase the chances of a direct clash between the United States and Russia," said Beebe, who previously led Russia analysis at the CIA.

The escalation comes as public support for a long-term war in Ukraine has started to slow. According to a new poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 47 percent of Americans think Washington “should urge Ukraine to settle for peace as soon as possible,” a nine point increase since July. Meanwhile, 48 percent of respondents, including most Democrats, argued that the United States “should support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Editorial credit: Dmytro Larin / Shutterstock.com
Europe
Russia, China dump the dollar as Moscow announces new trade corridors

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, in 2016. (Muhammad Aamir Sumsum/ Shutterstock)

Russia, China dump the dollar as Moscow announces new trade corridors

QiOSK

Russia announced this week that its bilateral trade with China has almost completely moved away from using the U.S. dollar, highlighting the two countries’ commitment to reducing their reliance on the U.S.-led economic system.

Aside from reducing dependency on the Western-dominated global currency, these ‘de-dollarization’ efforts allow Russia and China to avoid the myriad sanctions now preventing Moscow from doing business on the international market.

keep readingShow less
Erdogan lands in Iraq for much-hyped visit

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend a welcoming ceremony at Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 22, 2024. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Erdogan lands in Iraq for much-hyped visit

QiOSK

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Iraq Monday for the first time since 2011, marking a potential thaw in relations between the two neighboring countries, which have long clashed over Turkish attacks on Kurdish groups in Iraq’s north.

“For the first time, we find that there is a real desire on the part of each country to move toward solutions,” Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani said during a recent event at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.

keep readingShow less
ISW: Defeatist propaganda keeping ‘us’ from a Ukraine military victory

A man holds a dog in his arms outside the residential building damaged by the Russian missile attack, Dnipro, eastern Ukraine, April 19, 2024. Photo by Mykola Miakshykov/Ukrinform/ABACAPRESS.COM

ISW: Defeatist propaganda keeping ‘us’ from a Ukraine military victory

Europe

With the pendulum of war swinging in Russia’s favor and the Western alliance only now clearing the way for more aid to Ukraine, many have been waiting for the Institute for the Study of War to offer its take on who is to blame and what is to be done.

ISW has been one of the most referenced think tanks in mainstream media reporting on the war in Ukraine and has played a prominent role in creating and sustaining war optimism in the West in 2022 and 2023. Its daily battlefield reports have repeatedly played up Ukrainian victories and emphasized Russian failures and losses, almost always uncritically reproducing the version received from Kyiv.

keep readingShow less

Israel-Gaza Crisis

Latest