Green light for US weapons against Russia (but with caveats). And Moscow's response 31/05/2024 | Pietro Batacchi

According to a report by the always well-informed 'Politico', the Biden Administration gave the green light to the use of American weapons against Russian targets on the territory of the Federation. It would have done so, however, by limiting the type of weapons - no long-range weapons, so presumably no ATACMS missiles - and restricting their use to the border areas with the Ukrainian Oblast of Kharkiv. In short: counter-battery fire, drones, HARM anti-radiation missiles (the Russians, however, have already reported their use on a few occasions), JDAMs, but it remains to be confirmed whether the restriction will also affect HIMARS rocket launchers. The (half) American green light came after the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region, which the Ukrainians have curbed for the time being, and after the UK and France, in particular, had more or less officially signalled for days their readiness to authorise Kiev to use STORM SHADOW/SCALP-EG air-to-surface standoff missiles against targets on Russian federal soil. Thus, the US were forced to go after Sunak and Macron, giving up, at least in part, their traditional power to control the supply of their weapon systems to partner countries. Undoubtedly, weapons like the STORM SHADOW would be very useful to the Kiev forces to strike bases and airports, from where the VKS fighters leave to hit the city of Vovchans'k and Kharkiv, or the concentration points of the Russian forces in the rear, with the now 'infamous' UMPK bombs. Certainly, this threat would force the Russians to thin out their apparatus and complicate their logistics. Moscow would then have to multiply its efforts to 'search' for these weapons on Ukrainian territory, to interdict their inflow and distribution, and would have to scale up in turn its attacks against strategic targets on Ukrainian territory (which it already does, but which the Ukrainians also do with their own missiles and drones on the adversary's soil). But, realistically, what other options do the Russians have? Certainly, one option, always dear to the grandchildren of the KGB, would be to step up 'active measures' against Western countries: disinformation/manipulation campaigns, with large-scale use of trolls, influence agents and 'useful idiots', sabotage, 'wet operations' (targeted but unattributable killing), etc. Then there is the 'usual' nuclear threat, a threat that Russian TV and newspapers have been stirring up again with renewed vehemence for the past couple of days; a threat, however, that is now largely overblown in this war, which the more time passes, the more its credibility diminishes. This is why the regime's hawks would like a test with an ultra-low yield nuclear device. A way of shouting to the world that 'we are Russia'.

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