Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Former UK army chief: It’s “perfectly reasonable” for Ukraine to strike inside Russia

Former UK Army leader Richard Dannatt suggests that the West’s delay in aiding Ukraine gave Russia time to prepare defense lines, and strongly supports Ukraine’s right for deeper counterstrikes inside Russia.
Richard Dannatt during his service as a former general who commanded the British Army (2006-2009). Photo: Royal Armouries
Former UK army chief: It’s “perfectly reasonable” for Ukraine to strike inside Russia

In an interview with RFE/RL’s Georgian Service, Richard Dannatt, a former general who led the British Army from 2006 to 2009 and became an independent member of the UK Parliament’s upper house in 2011, says the West’s hesitation in promptly supplying Kyiv with weapons gave Russia time to build defensive lines in occupied areas, which likely leads to a protracted war. He also believes it is “legitimate” for Ukraine to strike deep inside Russia, partly to “degrade” its military capabilities.

According to Richard Dannatt, the Western countries were slow to provide Ukraine with the weapons needed for its summer counteroffensive, like tanks and armored vehicles. This delay allowed Russia time to build up strong defensive positions that are hard for Ukraine to penetrate. So, the war is likely to drag on much longer than hoped.

“I think it’s fair to say the West was fairly slow to decide to give Ukraine the necessary weapons that it required to launch this [summer] counteroffensive. […] [Russians] spent the same period of time preparing very comprehensive defensive positions – up to three lines of defense in many parts of the 1,000-kilometer front line, which has proved very difficult for the Ukrainian forces to penetrate,” Dannatt said.

Further, he reiterated that gifting Western weapons to Ukraine has been slow and “valuable time was lost. And during that valuable time being lost to Ukraine, the Russians made good use of that time in preparing these comprehensive defensive positions.”

Dannatt says currently the same position is in discussion about the availability of Western fighter jets such as the F-16s for Ukraine  almost as if the West is trying to control the capability and capacity of Ukraine to really carry out its mission of freeing its sovereign soil from the Russian occupier.”

Fire in the area of the airfield in Russia’s Pskov following a drone attack on the night of 30 Aug. Credit: Baza

The former British commander believes it’s legitimate for Ukraine to strike targets deep inside Russia, just as Russia strikes Ukrainian cities.

“It is perfectly legitimate – in exactly the same way that Russia is hitting Ukrainian cities, factories, infrastructure, and the like, and have been doing that for months ever since the war began – [for Ukraine to] strike targets deep into Russia. That is perfectly reasonable in order to degrade the Russian military capability. I mean, that is a facet of modern war,” says Richard Dannatt.

He notes that the Russo-Ukrainian War could be ascribed as being a classic limited war – limited in aims and in geography – but it is not limited in means, and “there shouldn’t be limits imposed on Ukraine to try to prevent [it] attacking targets in Russia. This is legitimate.

Dannatt also says Ukraine has all rights to strike targets deep into Russia with long-range weapons such as British-donated Storm Shadow cruise missiles and US-supplied ATACMS, because “Russia has started a war, and it must accept the consequences of the conduct of that war.”

Western support for Ukraine may wane over time, but time is on Russia’s side, so the West should keep supporting Ukraine, Dannatt says.

“There is a concern that time is not on [Ukraine’s] side, time is on Russia’s side. Western support and enthusiasm to support Ukraine will diminish, and that will increasingly put Putin in a stronger position, he added.

Read also:







You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Related Posts