US ‘Neither Encouraged Nor Enabled Ukraine To Strike Inside Russia’, Says Top Diplomat

New Delhi: After a set of drone attacks on Russian military facilities deep within the territory, the United States on Tuesday said it hadn’t “enabled” Ukraine to carry out the strikes. As per an AFP report, while Kyiv hasn’t claimed direct responsibility, it didn’t criticize the action either. The strikes killed three people and damaged long-range bombers and a fuel depot.

“We have neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters, according to AFP.

The report stated that the US has held back from supplying Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles that could strike Russia, as this could lead to a confrontation between Russia, US and NATO.

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However, experts have suggested that Ukraine was able to modify old long-distance reconnaissance drones from the Soviet era on its own to target the bases in the Kursk, Ryazan and Saratov on Monday, reported AFP.

Bliken, however, hasn’t criticised these attacks.

Instead, he said that the United States is determined “to make sure that they (Ukraine) have in their hands — along with many other partners around the world — the equipment that they need to defend themselves, to defend their territory, to defend their freedom.”

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Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the US was not doing anything to prevent Ukraine from acquiring its long-range attack capabilities.

Putin meeting with Russian troops

Russian President Vladimir Putin convened his security council in the wake of the apparent drone strikes. On Tuesday, Putin met senior officials to discuss “domestic security”, as per AFP, the Kremlin said that Russia was taking “necessary” steps to fend off any more of Ukraine’s attacks.

During the strikes, a key Engels airfield in the Saratov region was hit, this is where Russia keeps some of its strategic nuclear bombers. Ukraine said that the aircraft at Engels are also used to launch missiles at it from outside its territory.

Moscow has launched missiles for weeks down at Ukraine’s water and electricity supply infrastructure, raising the pressure of the war on Ukrainian civilians as winter sets in leaving them vulnerable to the biting cold without power.

(With agency inputs)