Armed Forces Minister James Heappey dismissed warnings of nuclear war and gave Ukraine permission to use UK weapons inside Russia
A Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces member holds a British-supplied NLAW anti-tank weapon on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, March 9, 2022 © AP / Efrem Lukatsky
Ukrainian forces may use UK-supplied weapons to attack targets on Russian soil, British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said on Tuesday. Moscow has cautioned the West against escalating what it sees as a Russia-NATO “proxy war” in Ukraine, after a series of attacks on its territory.
“It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia’s depth in order to disrupt the logistics that if they weren’t disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil,” Heappey told Times Radio.
“There are lots of countries around the world that operate kit that they have imported from other countries; when those bits of kit are used we tend not to blame the country that manufactured it, you blame the country that fired it,” he added.
Asked whether he supported such attacks within Russia’s borders, Heappey replied “of course.”
Russian officials have accused Ukrainian forces of using helicopters, artillery and drones to attack targets within Russia in recent weeks. An oil depot in Bryansk, 150km from the Ukrainian border, also caught fire on Monday. While some online analysts have suggested that a Ukrainian missile hit the facility, Moscow has not confirmed these rumors, and Russian officials are investigating the blaze.