Should Western weapons be used in attacks on Russia?

Until now Ukraine has not been allowed to use Western weapons against targets on Russian territory. However, in view of the situation in the Ukraine war Paris and London have already deviated from this course and there are signs of the US also changing its stance. Now outgoing Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has explicitly called for this in an interview. Europe’s commentators debate the wisdom of such a move.

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

The red line: Kharkiv

Kharkiv’s key role has fuelled this debate, writes Corriere della Sera:

“At the beginning of the invasion, former Russian President Medvedev threatened that Kharkiv would be the fifth region to be annexed. But the attack was repelled. Today, Ukrainians fear that Putin wants revenge for this debacle. The economic consequences would be more serious than the fall of Donetsk or Mariupol. The Kharkiv region is the third largest source (6.3 percent) of Ukraine’s GDP after Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk and has the country’s largest natural gas reserves ... Moscow’s aim seems to be to make the city uninhabitable and force its citizens to leave in preparation for a new summer offensive.”

Marta Serafini (UA) /

Biden holding back because of the election

If Washington is hesitant, it’s not for fear of an expansion of the war, contends:

“The White House does not fear any large-scale action by the Kremlin in response to its allowing Ukraine to fire on Novorossiysk or Sochi with American weapons, for example. No, it suspects that Putin, in keeping with his KGB habits, will try to carry out some nasty act of revenge with the help of foreign hands. ... For example that he could give money to some Iranian proxies and they would attack an American embassy or military base, causing US casualties. ... And that that could affect the election.”

Olexander Kotschetkow
Adevărul (RO) /

A decisive hit

Adevărul sees a change in thinking:

“It is likely that the US will agree to the use of weapons to attack military targets in Russia in the near future, which the Ukrainians have been demanding for a long time. A situation in which the Russian army could be hit directly in its command centres, communications, ammunition and weapons depots. ... Russia has already lost half a million military personnel who have been killed or wounded, as well as a lot of money from its budget, a third of which is being used to support the war. ... And there are many indications that Putin wants to freeze the war on the current front because he no longer has the means to continue it.”

Stefan Vlaston
T24 (TR) /

Not carefully thought through

T24 sees Europe drifting towards increased involvement in the war:

“Everything points to Europe being dragged step by step into the war. However, this is not a particularly determined or well-considered course. In fact, this drift is taking place as Europe loses its autonomy, succumbing to the growing pressure from Washington, to which it surrendered its foreign policy after the Second World War. It’s as if Europe had awoken from hibernation only to find itself being mustered under calls of ‘Come on, soldier, up you get’. ... There are signs that Nato forces are preparing for a major conflict with military manoeuvres and exercises in Europe. The Baltic states are being militarised.”

Akdoğan Özkan
Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Victory on the battlefield unrealistic

Instead of giving the green light for attacks on Russian territory, the Tages-Anzeiger calls for a realistic proposal for negotiations:

“Can this madness be stopped? ... No. Russia could end the war immediately if it wanted to. But Vladimir Putin can’t and won’t admit defeat, so he has his soldiers fight on with the aim of making the already largest country in the world even bigger. ... But one thing is clear: if we want this ‘Russian madness’ to stop, we must take a step towards the enemy. Because victory on the battlefield is unrealistic.”

Arthur Rutishauser