France’s Macron urges a green light for Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia with Western weapons

France’s president has joined the head of NATO in pushing for a policy shift that could change the complexion of the war in Ukraine — allowing Kyiv to strike military bases inside Russia with sophisticated long-range weapons provided by Western partners.

The question of whether to allow Ukraine to hit targets on Russian soil with Western-supplied weaponry has been a delicate issue since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Western leaders have mostly shrunk from taking the step because it runs the risk of provoking Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly warned that the West’s direct involvement could put the world on a path to nuclear conflict.

But the war has been going Russia’s way recently as the Kremlin’s forces have exploited Ukrainian shortages in troops and ammunition after a lengthy delay in U.S. military aid, and Western Europe’s inadequate military production slowed crucial deliveries to the battlefield.

Russian missiles and bombs have pummeled Ukrainian military positions and civilian areas, including the power grid. Ukraine is facing its hardest test of the war, and untying its hands on long-range weapons could spur a fightback and upset the Kremlin.

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