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Ukrainian Drone Strikes Target Russian Nuclear Radar Stations

WorldUkrainian Drone Strikes Target Russian Nuclear Radar Stations

In recent days, Ukraine has conducted a series of drone attacks inside Russia, including one of the longest-range strikes of the war, that target radar stations used, at least partly, as early nuclear warning systems by Moscow.

On Monday, Ukraine struck a radar station near the border with Kazakhstan that was more than 1,100 miles away, a Ukrainian intelligence official said. Ukrainian experts said the facility was used to detect missile threats from Asia.

On Tuesday morning, the governor of the Krasnodar region of Russia reported that a Ukrainian drone was downed in the sky over the town of Armavir, which is home to two radar stations. Ukraine did not report any new strikes that day.

Ukraine has used its own drones and missiles to carry out these strikes, but they come as officials in Kyiv have made urgent appeals to the United States for permission to fire powerful American-made weapons into Russia. The Biden administration had for weeks resisted those appeals for fear of getting drawn into a wider war, but it has now agreed to let Ukraine use its weapons to fire into Russia, though only against military sites being used to attack the Kharkiv area.

The strikes on the radar systems also have American officials worried about escalation, according to a senior Biden administration official. The administration conveyed its concern this week to Ukraine over Kyiv’s recent drone and missile strikes against at least three nuclear early warning radar stations inside Russia in the past couple of weeks, the official said.

By striking deeper into Russia, analysts said, Ukraine is hoping to force Russia to stretch its air defense systems deep into the country so that Moscow can’t bunch its defensive weapons near the border. In this sense, military experts say, the strikes serve a military purpose even if the radar systems aren’t being used in the war.

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