Ukraine: Western leaders more and more positive about Ukrainian attack on the Crimean peninsula

20. mars 2023 05:47 – Updated 20 March 2023 08:07

Crossing Putin’s “red line” could lead to the use of nuclear weapons, Ukraine has previously been warned. Now Ukraine claims that several Western leaders are becoming increasingly positive about attacks against Putin’s “holy place”, the Crimean peninsula.

Ever since 2014, Russia and its President Vladimir Putin have controlled the Crimean peninsula in south-east Ukraine. The peninsula was annexed by Russia after the Ukrainian parliament ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych that same year.

The Crimean peninsula is not only strategically important for Russia and its invasion of Ukraine. It is also important to Putin, who has previously referred to the peninsula as a “holy place” for Russians.

Ukrainian authorities have several times during the war expressed a desire to take the peninsula back.

Here you can read everything about the war in Ukraine!

Have been warned

Ukraine has been repeatedly warned that a major attack on the Crimean peninsula could mean crossing Putin’s “red line,” a line several experts and Western officials have said could lead to the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia.

– We have heard from Western leaders that if we return to Crimea, there will be an inevitable escalation that could even provoke a nuclear conflict, says Tamila Tasjeva to Daily Beast.

Tasheva is the Ukrainian authorities’ representative for the occupied peninsula. She claims that some Western leaders are now more and more positive about a Ukrainian reconquest of Crimea, without mentioning which leaders are in the process of changing their attitudes.

Ukrainian authorities believe the Crimean peninsula is the key to a victory against Putin because his forces use the peninsula as a base for other operations in Ukraine. Ukraine also claims that the occupation of the Crimean peninsula helps to support Putin’s legitimacy as a leader in Russia.

This argumentation has changed the view of a reconquest among Western leaders, claims Tajeva.

– The rhetoric has changed, she says of the Western leaders.

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The soldiers who took control of the Crimean peninsula in February and March 2014 wore no insignia on their uniforms, but were apparently Russian and pro-Russian soldiers.
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Putin’s “red line”

In addition to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya last autumn. It happened after the occupying power had held “referendums” in the occupied areas.

The “referendums” had no international legitimacy and were met with condemnation from all corners of the world.

In the Kremlin, the Crimean peninsula in particular is considered part of Russia. Russian authorities have also asked the outside world to recognize the other four regions as Russian territory, but neither Crimea nor the other regions have become so at international level. It is often the Crimean peninsula that is considered Putin’s “red line”. If larger Ukrainian forces enter this area, as previously mentioned, it has been warned that the conflict could escalate.

According to the American media Politico and Newsweek US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a meeting in February that a Ukrainian recapture of the Crimean peninsula is Putin’s “red line” since the president himself considers the area Russian.

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Last September, Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya counties with the pro-Russian heads of the regions.
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Several minor attacks

Despite warnings, minor attacks have been made against the peninsula. The attack that is perhaps best remembered is the explosion on the Kerch Bridge between Crimea and Russia last October. Three people lost their lives in the explosion and the bridge was put out of service for several days. Ukraine did not claim responsibility for the attack.

The Russian response to the attack, which was allegedly Ukrainian, was a massive missile attack against large parts of Ukraine.

Otherwise, Russian air and military bases and supply lines in Crimea have been subjected to missile and drone attacks.

Earlier this month, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Russian forces had repelled a major Ukrainian drone attack on the Crimean peninsula, writes Newsweek.

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This is what it looked like just hours after the Kerch Bridge between Crimea and Russia was hit by an explosion last October.
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Drama in the Black Sea

Earlier this week, an American MQ-9 Reaper drone was hit by Russian fighter jets during a mission over the Black Sea, south of Ukraine. The drone crashed into the sea, and the parties have since made accusations against each other.

The Russian Ministry of Defense claims the drone was intercepted because it was approaching Russian-controlled airspace over the Crimean peninsula.

In the wake of the incident, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the Black Sea will not be a safe place as long as Russia controls the peninsula, writes Forbes.

If video:Here the Russian fighter plane hits the American drone.

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Here, a Russian fighter jet hits an American drone over the Black Sea
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