Diplomatic Row: Russia Warns UK Military Sites Now ‘Legitimate Targets

Russia has threatened to make British military facilities a legitimate combat target following David Cameron’s comments. Similar warnings have been issued to the French after Macron’s statement.

Response to Cameron Saying Ukraine Can Use UK Weapons to Strike in Russia

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David Cameron said that Ukraine has the right to use UK weapons to strike inside Russia, saying, “Ukraine has that right. Just as Russia is striking inside Ukraine, you can quite understand why Ukraine feels the need to make sure it’s defending itself.”

Russia Responds With Drills

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The Russian defence ministry said its military would “practise the issues of preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons … in response to provocative statements and threats by certain western officials against the Russian Federation.”

Ambassador Summoned to Explain Comments

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Following the comments, the Kremlin quickly summoned the UK ambassador, Nigel Casey, and his French counterpart. The Russian Foreign Ministry addressed them. 

Russian Foreign Ministry Makes Statement

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They said, “Casey was warned that in response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory with British weapons, any British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and abroad.”

Thinly-Veiled Threat Made

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They said, “The ambassador was called upon to reflect on the inevitable catastrophic consequences of such hostile steps by London and immediately refute the belligerent provocative statements of the head of the Foreign Office in the most decisive and unambiguous way.”

USA Held Back on Use of Weapons in Russia

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In 2022, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said,  “We have neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia”. They have always wanted to reduce the possibility of escalation. 

Limits Ukraine’s Ability to Fight Back

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The problem with this approach is that Ukraine can’t use the best weapons in its arsenal – the Western-made long-range missiles – to attack its enemy. It’s effectively fighting in a purely defensive way, and that’s not how war is won. 

Russia Unlikely to Attack

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As a prominent NATO member, Russia is incredibly unlikely to attack any UK military facilities. In doing so, the other NATO members would be obliged to join the defence, and Russia doesn’t want to start that fight. 

Drills Likely to Be Posturing

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At a time when the vast majority of Russian military attention and resources is focused on the war in Ukraine, the drills are likely to be nothing more than posturing.

France Already Sent Troops to Ukraine

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There are reports that France already has troops in Ukraine, but they are there purely for training and strategic purposes and are not engaged in fighting. 

Macron Wouldn’t Rule Out Escalation 

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When asked if he’d consider sending his troops to the front line, Macron responded: “I’m not ruling anything out, because we are facing someone who is not ruling anything out.”

NATO Performing Training Exercises

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While NATO isn’t anticipating any form of participation in the war, it is still preparing for the possibility. From January to May, the organisation is running Operation Steadfast Defender, a training exercise involving 90,000 troops from all 32 member countries.  

Russia Politically Isolated

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These threats to NATO countries are very unlikely to find any support on the global political stage. Russia has effectively isolated itself, with only China, Iran and North Korea as vocal allies. 

Russia Not Going to Find Sympathy

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Should Ukraine strike into Russia more frequently, it won’t be met with much local resistance. With tens of thousands of documented war crimes in the conflict so far, Russia won’t be able to plead innocent or victim status here. Ukraine was never the aggressor in the conflict. 

Ukraine Used Tactical Drones Effectively

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So far, Ukraine has largely resorted to its drone technology to strike into Russian territory. It has enjoyed success with this, knocking out around 15% of Russia’s oil refinery capability and many munitions factories. 

Ukraine Can’t Fight a Traditional Artillery Fight When Outgunned

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Military experts strongly argue that Ukraine simply must use these tactics to strike into Russia because it is so outgunned. If it tries to match Russia with artillery, it’ll lose. Instead, it has to harm Russian weapons production. 

Weapons Support Stepped Up

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There was a standoff in American politics regarding support for Ukraine for several months. This severely hampered the amount of military support reaching Ukraine. Thankfully, Ukraine has agreed to a $61bn aid package, bringing much-needed support. 

Expected Offensives in Spring/Summer

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With the additional US weaponry arriving, alongside continued support from other Western allies, there’s an expectation that Ukraine will mount a spring and summer offensive, to take back much of the territory it has lost recently. 

Long War Depleting Russia

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Although the Russian stockpiles run very deep, analysts say much of the equipment making its way to the front line is now old and not very effective against modern weapons. This continued depletion, alongside fresh supplies arriving in Ukraine, could tip the balance of the war.

The post Diplomatic Row: Russia Warns UK Military Sites Now ‘Legitimate Targets first appeared on 365 News.

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