Longer-range missiles to Ukraine would only aggravate situation, incur counteroffensive actions by Russia: experts
Published: Feb 01, 2023 10:44 PM
Ukraine crisis Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Ukraine crisis Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

The one-year anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is approaching. Experts warned of aggravating situations leading to counteroffensive actions by Russia around the timing as the US and some other Western countries have continued to increase military support to Ukraine, aiming to consume Russia. 

About one week after the coordinated US-German decision to send main battle tanks to the  frontlines, Reuters said the US is readying more than $2 billion worth of military aid for Ukraine that is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time, as well as other munitions and weapons.

Ukraine has also been pushing to receive F-16 fighter jets from the US or other countries. Although US President Joe Biden responded "No" when asked by a reporter outside the White House Monday if the US would transfer the warplane to Ukraine, it does not appear that Biden's pronouncement is the result of an internal policy review but instead is the current stance of the ultimate decision maker, Politico reported citing unnamed officials.

If F-16 fighters are delivered to Ukraine, it is very likely the Russia-Ukraine conflict would escalate, even go out of control, which the US is not ready to see at the current stage, analysts said.

Fighter jets have stronger long-range strike capabilities. If the Ukrainian army is equipped with such weapons, it will definitely bring greater trouble to Russia and at the same time escalate the conflict. This is also a major reason why the US and other Western countries are hesitant to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

It is highly likely that Ukraine could send F-16 fighters to attack Russia. This would constitute a serious provocation for Moscow and could result in severe destabilization which the US does not want to see, analysts said. They noted that the US is also worried about the consequences if an F-16 fighter jet is downed over Russian airspace. 

The US intends to use Ukraine to consume Russia, and finally reach the goal to permanently isolate Russia from Europe, experts reiterated, noting that although this goal is difficult to achieve, the US and its Western allies will sacrifice Ukraine, but never at the expense of their own interests.  

The latest aid the US is readying is expected to be announced as soon as this week, Reuters reported Wednesday citing two US officials briefed on the matter.

Western countries provide Ukraine with weapons nodes rather than weapon systems. War is a competition of systematic combat capabilities, any single weapon is just a node, a link in the systematic war, and it is far from the whole content, Song explained.