– Permission to use Western weapons to strike Russia: what does it mean and what will happen as a result?

A look at the newest escalation of the war in Ukraine and its possible consequences is a Ukrainian online newspaper launched on 16 February 2016. It was founded by journalist Igor Guzhva, and is one of the most popular Ukrainian online media.

Originally posted at

Translation by Geoffrey Roberts


Statements by Western countries to allow strikes on Russia with their weapons are only partly the result of military necessity.

The use, for example, of HIMARS missiles – with a range of up to 80 kilometres- in the border areas of the Belgorod region, or of Western-supplied air defence systems to shoot down aircraft over Russia, could have a certain military significance, but it would not correspond to the hyped discussion of this topic. Nor will permission from the Czech Republic or Poland to strike with their weapons change much (Czech “Vampires” have been regularly fired at the Belgorod region).

A truly serious (though also not decisive) impact could be had by permission to strike with long-range missiles, but that does not exist yet.

At this stage, the spinning of this topic in the West solves not so much military as informational and political problems.


1. Show the immutability of support for Ukraine – to maintain morale and faith in victory in Ukrainian society in the face of a difficult situation at the front.

2. Wind-up “angry patriots” in Russia because Putin does not react to the “crossing of red lines” – to roil the situation inside the Russian Federation.

3. Signal Russia not expand the front line by attacking the Sumy region or Kyiv (Western media write that permission to use their weapons may expand if the Russian Federation attacks in new directions).

4. Demonstrate to Western waverers there is no need to fear Russian threats, that you can move step by step: permission for strikes on Russian territory with long-range missiles; convince Scholz to provide the Taurus; increase and speed up the supply of aircraft; introduce a no-fly zone over Western Ukraine; and then send in NATO troops, etc.

The last goal is the main one of the so-called “war party”, which has been saying for a long time there is no need to be afraid of nuclear threats from the Russian Federation or of Moscow’s “red lines”, but that we need to be involved “to the maximum”, right up to sending troops. This “party” avers that Putin will not dare to launch a nuclear strike.

But Russia has its own “war party,” which calls for “moving from words to deeds”: present an ultimatum to the West with the threat of using nuclear weapons. Or demonstratively apply them to Ukraine (or even one of the European countries) in order to show “seriousness of intentions”, and then put terms to the West, believing the USA and the EU, fearing a nuclear war, will make an agreement with Russia (“Caribbean Crisis 2.0″).

This “party” has been demanding such for a long time, together with corresponding statements on the topic of where our “red lines” actually lie.

Authorising strikes on Russia with Western weapons, as well as other subsequent steps to increase NATO involvement in the war, gives supporters of the Russian “war party” new arguments. Maybe they will not immediately influence the Kremlin’s decision-making, but with each new step this probability increases. Moreover, Putin and Medvedev regularly make clear the “nuclear” option is possible.

The key problem is that the war party in Russia and the war party in the West are both based on premises that may turn out to be false.

The War Party in the West believes Putin will not dare use nuclear weapons in response to NATO’s increased involvement in the war.

The war party in Russia believes that the West will not go nuclear in the event of a threat (an ultimatum or a “demonstration” nuclear strike), but that it will make an agreement with Moscow.

Neither assumption may be warranted, and there could begin a real nuclear war with catastrophic consequences for humanity.

Do the two sides have enough intelligence and political will to stop the war? That is the main question.

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