Blinken on strikes against Russia: Ukraine decides for itself how to conduct its war

Olha Bereziuk

United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Ukraine itself chooses whether to use American weapons on the territory of Russia.

He announced this at a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv.

"We neither encourage nor support Ukraineʼs attacks on Russia. But, in the end, Ukraine itself decides how to conduct its war, because it is a defensive war, it protects the sovereignty and territorial integrity and freedom of the country. That is why we provide such weapons that are necessary for victory," he emphasized.

Answering a clarifying question about permission to strike on Russian territory, the State Secretary noted that "Ukraine must make this decision for itself."

The day before, the Politico publication wrote that since Russia launched a new offensive on the Kharkiv region, Ukraine is once again trying to force the Biden administration to cancel the ban on the use of American weapons for strikes on the territory of Russia.

As the main argument, Ukrainian high-ranking officials say that the ban on strikes with American weapons prevented Ukraine from attacking the positions of the Russians when they were preparing the last offensive on Kharkiv.

Russian offensive on Kharkiv region

On the morning of May 10, Russia launched a new offensive in the Kharkiv region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said. He emphasized that the Defense Forces knew about the plans of the occupiers in the region and were preparing a counterattack. Later, the General Staff of the Armed Forces reported that the occupiers "wedged themselves into the defense." Currently, the operational situation remains complex and dynamically changing. Battles for Vovchansk continue. So far, the enemy has had tactical success.

According to DeepState, on May 12, the enemy occupied the villages of Morokhovets, Oliynikove and Zelene and continues to move towards the village of Lyptsi. Active fighting continues for Lukyantsi, which the enemy has almost completely occupied. The occupiers are also trying to gain a foothold in Hlyboke and are making their way to Vovchansk. The city is under heavy shelling, the evacuation of the civilian population is ongoing.

The prosecutorʼs office reported that Russian troops captured Ukrainian civilians during the offensive in the Vovchansk community. Local residents were placed in the basement on May 11, some of them managed to escape and reach the volunteers on May 13. The prosecutorʼs office started a pre-trial investigation into the violation of the laws and customs of war.