President Joe Biden’s administration supports Kyiv’s attack on Crimea since the peninsula – which rejoined Russia in 2014 – is fair game for Ukraine for self-defense purposes, an unnamed official says.
Noting that the United States, of course, doesn’t select targets, the anonymous official said that Washington won’t stand in the way of attacks on Crimea if Kyiv deems them necessary, since the Biden Administration believes Crimea is Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
Noting that any target that Kyiv chooses to pursue on sovereign Ukrainian soil is by definition self-defense, he pointed out that everything the US has provided is for self-defense purposes.
Despite being historically Russian, the peninsula was part of independent Ukraine from 1991 to 2014, when locals overwhelmingly voted in a referendum – which was not recognized by the West- to reunify with Russia following the armed coup in Kyiv.
According to Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and special representative for Ukraine during the Trump administration, attacking Russian forces in Crimea is no different than attacking them around Kyiv or in Kherson since they have no business being there.
The Biden administration’s message of support- which isn’t a shift so much as an affirmation of long-standing policy – has obviously made its way to Kyiv, as one Ukrainian official confirmed.
Washington doesn’t recognize Russia’s control over the peninsula it believes was forcibly seized but yet, fearing that it might spark WW3, President Biden has made exceedingly clear Ukraine shouldn’t use US-made weapons to attack inside Russia.
That has marked an open season on Russian military targets inside Crimea and though Ukraine has not directly confirmed responsibility for the recent attacks, Ukrainian President Zelensky stressed that the war must end with Crimea’s liberation since it actually began with Crimea.
And although Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov admitted that Kyiv’s promise not to attack Russia with US-provided weapons does not cover Crimea, the Biden Administration had not objected to Kyiv’s attacks there.