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Ukraine says it won’t strike Russia with new missiles

Ukraine says foreign-supplied missiles will only be used to target Russian units in occupied territory while Russian officials warn of a false flag operation.

February 6, 2023
6 February 2023

Ukraine will not use longer-range weapons pledged by the United States to hit Russian territory and will only target Russian units in occupied Ukrainian territory, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov says.

The United States confirmed on Friday that a new rocket that would double Ukraine’s strike range was included in a $US2.175 billion ($A3.142 billion) U.S. military aid package to help Ukraine fight back Russian forces.

“We always tell our partners officially that we will not use weapons supplied by foreign partners to fire on Russian territory. We only fire on Russian units on temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory,” Reznikov told reporters at a news conference.

Meanwhile, Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukraine of preparing to blow up buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk and then accuse it of carrying out war crimes and targeting civilians in a false flag operation.

The defence ministry provided no evidence for the claims, which it outlined in a post shared on social media on Sunday, saying that the alleged attacks would be used by Ukraine to push for more foreign weapons supplies to the country.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the battlefield claims of either side.

A Russian missile killed at least three when it struck a residential building in the city of Kramatorsk on Thursday, police in Ukraine said. 

Russia has not publicly commented on that strike.

Russia has denied targeting civilians throughout what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Ukraine and its allies say hundreds of civilians have been killed in Russian missile strikes on residential sites across Ukraine since its forces invaded last February.

On Sunday, Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine planned to detonate three medical buildings – dispensaries and a hospital – and “accuse Russia of an allegedly ‘deliberate attack’ on civilian objects”.

“The bombing of the medical institutions will be presented as another ‘atrocity’ of Russian troops, requiring a response from the world community and accelerating the supply of long-range missiles to Kyiv (to be used) for strikes on Russian territory,” the defence ministry said.

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