The U.S. presidential administration no longer fears that arms aid to Ukraine and the transfer of hostilities to Russian territory will force Moscow to escalate and draw U.S. and NATO troops into the confrontation. On the contrary, according to The New York Times (NYT), citing U.S. officials, the Kremlin now does not want to extend the war to other countries for fear that it will strengthen Ukraine’s military position and force Washington to give it the kinds of weapons that it has so far refused to provide.
During the first year of the war, senior U.S. officials repeatedly and publicly warned Kiev against strikes on Russian territory, especially with American weapons. Only facilities in Crimea were named as legitimate targets in Washington because it is a Ukrainian region annexed by Russia. “We do not encourage or help Ukraine to strike outside its borders”, President Joe Biden wrote in a May 2022 column.
But Russia’s border regions have been under fire for weeks now, with drones attacking not only oil depots, military airfields, and power facilities, but also the Kremlin and the Rublyovka mansions of Putin’s elite, and Russian saboteurs supported by Ukrainian military intelligence have invaded the Belgorod region for the second time.
But this is not a cause for concern in Washington. “We’re not going to investigate it, – National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said last week when asked whether Ukraine was involved in orchestrating the strikes against Moscow. – We’re not telling them [Ukrainians] where to strike and where not to strike, how to conduct their operations”.