Latest Ukraine War Updates: Ukraine ‘repels Russian attack’ after attempted ‘breakthrough’ in Kharkiv | World News

Putin knows that Ukraine’s fate depends on Western support – how far will the West go?

Russia is taking advantage of the shortage of weapons and ammunition in Ukraine to take the initiative on the battlefield.

After two years of prolonged war of attrition, Russia is once again at the forefront in Ukraine.

If the West wants to deny President Putin strategic success in Ukraine, it will have to find new ways to combat Russian aggression.

So far, the West has limited Ukraine’s ability to retaliate against Russia by restricting the use of Western weapons – particularly long-range missiles – to Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory, out of fear of an escalation of the conflict.

However, Ukraine needs maximum flexibility if it is to defeat its numerically superior adversary – this is one of the central topics addressed by our military analyst Sean Bell in this week RedMatrix Podcast.

Russian momentum

United States A $60 billion military aid program for Ukraine was finally accepted at the end of April after months of delay.

As Bell points out, President Putin is taking advantage of the arms shortage in Ukraine to intensify his offensive operations in Donbass, where his forces are growing and seizing many small settlements.

Whether these tactical gains can translate into a strategic breakthrough remains to be seen, but momentum is an essential component of war – and Russia has it.

Getting U.S. approval for the $60 billion in military aid was not a simple process.

Understandable concerns about the relative priorities of domestic issues in the context of support for a non-NATO nation thousands of miles away, and divided opinions; It is no coincidence that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized that the delivery of American military equipment and munitions had created “jobs for the United States.”

No strike against Russia

The aid package also included a number of long-range missiles, the US Army’s ATACMS.

These systems have sufficient range to threaten any Russian forces in occupied Ukraine and could be crucial in helping Ukraine turn the tide of the war in its favor.

However, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated that these weapons could not be used against Russia itself.

Wars of this magnitude consume enormous resources. Russia depends on its oil exports to generate revenue to invest in its national defense industrial base and also purchase large quantities of munitions from North Korea and Iran.

This is why President Zelensky deliberately targeted part of Russia’s immense oil refining capacity in order to reduce Russia’s oil revenues.

However, any reduction in global oil supply inevitably increases the price. Austin was asked about this at a Department of Defense hearing, where it was suggested that it was one of the reasons the United States was imposing limitations on the use of American weapons.

The sound of Putin’s sabers

By contrast, during a visit to kyiv earlier this month, Lord Cameron announced that it was up to Ukraine to decide how to use British weapons and insisted that it had the power to decide use of British weapons. right to strike targets on Russian territory.

This notable change in the UK’s position prompted the Russian Foreign Ministry to claim it would have “catastrophic” consequences.

As Bell notes, President Putin knows that strategic success in Ukraine relies on deterring increased Western support for Ukraine, and so far his sabre-rattling has succeeded in tempering Western political appetite for an escalation.

Regardless of the political rhetoric, the West faces a difficult choice.

Ukraine is totally dependent on Western support to stem the Russian invasion. President Putin knows this, which is why he is using every tool at his disposal to deter further Western involvement.

However, if Putin were to win, what would happen next?

If a nuclear superpower is free to attack any non-nuclear power without consequence, this has profound implications for global security.

But how far is the West willing to go to stop Putin’s brutal offensive?