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Ukraine's defense of Kharkiv 'unconditional success,' says ex-Polish defense minister

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 2, 2024 6:55 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers from the 13th Brigade of the National Guard fire artillery at their fighting position in the direction of the Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast on June 3, 2024. (Photo by Jose Colon/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russia's offensive in Kharkiv Oblast has failed and is an "unconditional success of the Ukrainian army," former Polish Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz said on July 2.

In an interview with Ukrinform, Onyszkiewicz said it raised hopes that Moscow's forces would not launch another offensive in northern Ukraine, including an attack from the territory of Belarus.

Russia launched a new offensive on May 10 in Kharkiv Oblast, where it managed to advance as far as 10 kilometers (6 miles) before Ukraine halted the advance at the first line of defense.

During a single month of the offensive in the northeastern oblast, Russian forces suffered around 4,000 troops killed or injured, according to the Ukrainian military.

According to the crowd-sourced DeepState monitoring service, Russia still controls a handful of villages on two separate axes in Kharkiv Oblast, one near the Lyptsi village and the other near the embattled town of Vovchansk.

Onyszkiewicz said if Russia did launch another offensive then the issue of allowing Ukraine to strike deeper inside Russian and even Belarusian territory than current restrictions permit, would have to be raised.

The U.S. gave Ukraine permission on June 1 to use American-supplied weapons, including HIMARS rockets, to strike targets in Russia located near the border with Kharkiv Oblast.

U.S. officials later clarified that Ukrainian troops may use U.S. weapons to strike targets within Russia wherever Russian forces launch cross-border assaults on Ukrainian territory, not just near the Kharkiv Oblast border.

Ukraine is still prohibited from using ATACMS and other long-range U.S.-supplied weapons for strikes deeper inside Russia.

"I think that this limit of 100 kilometers will soon be expanded because from an operational point of view, 100 kilometers is not enough," Onyszkiewicz said.

"Because it allows the Russian army to take certain actions in strategic depth."

"Therefore, this zone should be covered with the possibility of launching missile strikes up to 300 kilometers deep."

He echoed views expressed a day earlier in Kyiv by Mike Turner, chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a Republican congressman from Ohio, who said Ukraine should be allowed to strike "valid military targets" in Russia.

Visiting Kyiv as part of a bipartisan delegation of U.S. members of Congress, Turner said his position on Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory was "broader than the (Biden) administration's."

With all eyes on Kharkiv, Russian troops take one Donbas village after another
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent is not disclosing soldiers’ full names since they disclosed information without authorization from their command. DONETSK OBLAST—As public attention shifted to Moscow’s renewed offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, Russian forces steadily advance in the country’s easternm…

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